- About Przyborski Productions
- Demo Reels
- Misc Videos
- Introduction of 24P (from 2002)
- Images from a Summer Carnival
- River Rafting
- Scenes from a County Fair
- America Lost
- Moments@24fps (1997)
- Behind-the-Scenes Prop38 (2000)
- 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins
- Barth Bartholomae (1997)
- Behind-the-Scenes Pagetime (1998)
- Frontier Telephone (2000)
- Time Capsule: GNC 1992-1995
- Jimmy D
- Contact Info
AutoZone wanted to re-broadcast a successful commercial that I directed and photographed in 2003. Back then, TV spots were produced in standard definition as most networks and cable systems weren’t accepting HD commercials.
I shot the original Duralast battery commercial in 4:3 ratio, standard definition at 23.98 frames per second. Fortunately, we recorded the original video, non-compressed on a video file server.
I went back to the 16 original scenes and removed the 3-2 pulldown which yielded progressive scan video at 23.98 frames-per-second. My son, John Przyborski, who created the visual effects for the spot, had saved progressive scan versions of each scene that included mattes or re-touch effects.
The next step was to use the program, “Shake” to expand each scene so the progressive scan video became 1080 pixels high. Finally, on a 1080P timeline, I literally re-edited the entire spot, frame-by-frame. All title graphics, such as the Coast-to-Coast Warranty, Proven Tough, and AutoZone logos were re-inserted at full HD resolution. Doner’s art department created the shaded Duralast logo to pillar-box the left and right of the screen. The original audio mix from 2003 was re-used.
You may ask, “Why the pillar-box format? Why not expand the original scenes to fill the entire HD frame?” The original scenes were framed for the standard 4:3 ratio TV format. To fill the top to bottom of the 1080HD image required a 224% expansion. To fill the entire HD screen (while maintaining correct image proportion) would require a 306% expansion. Also, by filling the left-to-right, the top and bottom would be chopped off. The “pillar-box” technique that we chose, yields an acceptably sharp HD image that’s also compatible with center-cut, standard definition TV.
Tom Atkins is an amazingly talented actor who’s appeared in dozens of major motion pictures and TV series. He often plays a tough guy on the wrong side of the law. Most recently, Atkins played Pittsburgh Steelers founder, Art Rooney in the one man stage play and movie titled, “The Chief”. Tom Atkins has a great sense of humor and is excellent at improvisation.
A few years ago, Atkins was the TV spokesman for Blue Cross of Western PA. I directed and photographed about a dozen spots with Tom, including an Addy winner that featured fishing on the Allegheny River.
On several occasions, after we finished shooting the actual on-air TV commercial, Tom would do his own unique version of the copy.
Just for fun, here’s a couple of Tom Atkins’ “interpretations” of the Blue Cross scripts. They’re pretty much identical to the original scripts, but I can assure you, they’re far more memorable…
Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama is one of the nation’s finest dramatic schools. You can’t watch an evening of network TV without seeing CMU alumni. The CMU School of Drama is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
My friend and CMU Drama professor, Don Wadsworth asked if I would volunteer to film their Showcase 2014 video. Each year, the school creates a music driven video to introduce the graduating seniors to America’s top producers, directors and casting agents. CMU then flies these seniors to L.A. and NYC to personally meet and perform for entertainment industry leaders.
Working with CMU professor & director, Randy Kovitz, John Przyborski and I filmed the video on the day students returned from Christmas break. As a two camera shoot, it was my first opportunity to film a project with my son. I’m proud to say that half the scenes in the video were shot by him.
Bob Chamberlain, Chad Calcagno, Tom Gregg, and Ben Perkins all volunteered their Sunday to crew the shoot. Pittsburgh’s LightSpeed generously supplied the crab dolly, lighting and grip equipment .
Check out CMU’s “Showcase 2014” and remember the names and faces. The next time you see them, they might be in a movie, TV series, or Broadway play!
Consider yourself lucky if you’re not familiar with the pesky stinkbug.
These insects have migrated to portions of the US from China. They multiply by the millions and destroy crops such as apples, tomatoes and virtually all other fruit that they stumble upon.
They don’t bite or sting, they just irritate everyone they’re near. In the fall and winter, they hide inside your home. When you least expect it, they appear on a wall, a couch, table, your bed or whatever. During cold months, you might come upon 2 or 3 stinkbugs every day!
My son, John and I have been having fun exploring unique methods of killing these worthless bugs.
All across the country, traveling carnivals setup shop outside hundreds of small towns and cities. Within a day or so, workers transform an open field on the outskirts of town, into a midway with rides, games and lots of junk food. Where else can you enjoy chocolate funnel cakes and deep-fried ice cream?
For many residents, a trip to the carnival’s an annual tradition. For the $5 admission, you can spend all day and night cruising the fair grounds. There’s groups of girls checking out the guys and catching up on mid-summer gossip. As day slowly dissolves to night, young lovers stroll the midway hand-in-hand.
At a Midwest carnival, tractor and truck pulls are very popular. A powerful truck or tractor drags a weighted sled down a dirt track. It’s not a sophisticated sport, but it’s fun to watch and very loud! The owner of the winning entry gets a prize, but more importantly, all his friends know he drives of the most powerful truck in town.
I shot this video to capture moments from a hot, humid July day, at the fairgrounds, just outside Butler, Pennsylvania.
Back in the 90’s, I directed and photographed many TV campaigns for Cleveland based ad agencies. The most talented agency creative director I worked with was Alan Glazen. His agency was given an assignment to produce a TV spot and long-form video for Action Technology (now part of the Invacare Corp.) The company manufactures specialized, wheelchairs that are used throughout the world by athletes. The video was produced to be played at a major wheelchair athletics competition.
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) had just been signed into law, but many public buildings weren’t “wheelchair friendly.” Alan Glazen created an amazing script that was designed to let the world know, that people who have a physical disability, don’t want your pity or sympathy. They just want you to get out of their way and treat them as you would anyone else.
Alan and I filmed the intense, stylized action scenes of the wheelchair athletes in an old basketball gymnasium at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. I shot all the scenes with my Arriflex 35BL4 equipped with Zeiss super-speed lenses. During film-to-tape transfer in Nashville, the clipped color and accentuated grain was added.
The “news event” scenes were filmed the following day in the lobby of an old downtown Cleveland office building. After transferring the 35mm negative to 1″ analog tape, I edited part of the project in Pittsburgh, with Glazen handling the final edit, original music and audio mix at a Cleveland facility.
As a footnote: Some years ago, Alan Glazen sold his ad agency and today is the successful owner of multiple restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio.
A few years ago (before HDTV) I directed and photographed a project for General Electric Information Services. Michael Doherty, Stan Muschweck and the late, Joe Baird of The Birmingham Group, created the original concept. The 3 minute video, titled “Reaching Beyond” was created to open GEIS’ national convention. The concept was to show how a person’s ability, imagination and creativity “grows” over their lifetime.
We cast 3 young girls, a teenager, and 2 adult women who could all have been the same person at different stages of life. The original concept called for each of the actors to be drawing or painting their version of a tree. We hired 2 local Pittsburgh artists to “pre-draw” and “pre-paint” multiple versions of the various stages of artwork. During the shoot, these same professional artists helped the actors do a believable job of working with pencils, water colors, charcoal and oil colors.
I shot all the footage with my Arri 35BL4 equipped with Zeiss super-speed lenses. The 35mm film was then transferred to tape in Nashville by colorist, Brent Clenny at Filmworkers Club. The music was composed and performed by Sue Hartford at Euphoria in Pittsburgh. I edited the long-form video at our Pittsburgh facility.
West Virginia University Healthcare is the largest hospital complex in the State of West Virginia. The facility treats many of the region’s most complicated medical cases.
Heidi Specht, WVUH’s Director of Marketing, wanted a series of TV commercials whereby former patients would share their experiences directly with the home viewer. The commercials were to be completely unscripted, allowing patients to tell their stories in their own words.
This concept sounds deceptively easy, but it’s far from it. “Real people” who have never been on TV, can’t comfortably look into a cold, black camera lens and “pretend” they’re talking to a friend.
We decided to use a technique that I pioneered back in ’87. It uses a thru-the-lens teleprompter on the camera. However, instead of seeing the words of a script, the talent sees live video of an interviewer’s face. The on-camera talent talks directly with the interviewer, creating almost perfect eye contact with the home viewer. (In ’87, I first used this production technique to help small children talk on camera. We then used it on a major promotion for Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV. Today network news interviews are often conducted this way.)
The 5 spot commercial campaign airs in HD throughout West Virginia.
Here’s a look at a nesting pair of American Bald Eagles that have built a 6′ wide nest, a little over 1000ft from the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, a few miles south of Pittsburgh, PA USA. The male and female have one rather large “eaglet” in their nest. He looks almost ready to fly.
As a commercial director/cinematographer, this was my first experience with nature photography. I’m used to planned projects and production schedules. I now have complete respect for the men and women who shoot nature photos and videos.
Every scene in this video was shot from about a quarter mile from the birds and their nest. At this distance, the birds aren’t really noticeable to the naked eye.
It’s great that the American Bald Eagle has made a complete comeback from near extinction. They are now in every US state except Hawaii. We have 3 nesting pairs in the Pittsburgh area. They hunt in a radius of several miles from their nest and can easily lift small animals weighing up to 4 pounds.
A Przyborski Productions’ TV campaign, produced for Boca Raton Regional Hospital, has won Gold in the 2012 Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards. This prestigious advertising competition included thousands of entries from hospitals and healthcare facilities located throughout the United States and Canada. Here’s a link to the winning multi-spot campaign:
Our Children’s Hospital spot for West Virginia University Healthcare is an award winner in the 2012 Healthcare Marketing Report’s national contest. There were over 4,000 entries in the 2012 competition. Here’s a link to the winning spot that features “Aaron’s story”: http://www.przyborski.com/award_videos/Award-WVUH-960×540.mov