Film Production in the 90’s

On July 18, 2019, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


About once a year, clients will ask if I miss shooting commercials on film as we used to do on every project. Our last “film” production was in 2006. Looking back, my business partner, Jim DeVincentis and I had a lot of fun on film shoots in the late 80’s, 90’s & early 2000’s.

In the mid-90’s, JVC introduced a small mini-DV camcorder. We bought several of them and asked clients and crew to shoot some behind-the-scenes video during our film productions. I located several of the old tapes and edited them together with the actual footage we were filming. Of course everything back then was standard def.

Most people think of the past with nostalgia… as if things were always better in the “good old days.” Do I miss shooting film? I’ve always enjoyed working with agencies & clients to create commercials that everyone was proud to air. The specific production “medium” was never the most important part of a project.

My son John said, “Dad… If the vinyl LP record can return to popularity, movie film has a good chance of a come back.” You never know…

KDKA-TV PROMOTIONS 1979-1996

On June 25, 2019, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Here’s a “time capsule” of KDKA-TV promos from ’79-’96.

Friends at a retirement party for KDKA’s Drew Moniot reminded me of the many promotional campaigns Przyborski Productions produced for KDKA from 1979 through 1996. Those were the “analog” days of 35mm film production, film-to-tape transfers, and tape-to-tape video editing.

I was fortunate to work with 3 of KDKA’s creative services directors… Brad Crum (1979-1982), Art Greenwald (1985-1988), & Lorraine Sneebold (1988-1996). The promos we produced were often music-driven, high-energy spots that featured KDKA’s on-air talent and their interaction with the community.

The earliest of these promotions aired 40+ years ago. They’re a visual tribute to KDKA’s talent and staff, many of whom are retired or unfortunately, no longer with us.

Stanley Steemer’s “That’s Gross” TV Campaign

On June 4, 2019, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Here’s a fun look at a crazy network ad campaign produced for Stanley Steemer, America’s largest residential and commercial cleaning service. 

Corporate creative director, Jim McCabe called with an unusual production request. In 2006, the company had marketing success with a funny commercial that featured “Toby” a Labrador Retriever scooting his butt across the living room carpet to the shock of the homeowner and her friend. Jim wanted to revisit the concept, only this time “Toby” would scoot over carpet, tile and hardwood floors. Plus, Jim also wanted a trained parrot who harasses Toby.

Glenn Przyborski directed and photographed the campaign using 2 cameras on each shot for more editorial options. 2 cameras also gave an “insurance factor” just in case the trained animals “lost interest” after several takes. Everything was shot and edited in 4K UHD, then downsampled to 1080 for final release. 

Award Winning Writer-Director, Harry Greenberger

On May 14, 2019, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

In the 90’s, Harry Greenberger worked with us as an assistant cameraman. Harry loved all aspects of the filmmaking business and was always a great, positive thinking crew person. On some rare occasions, he even filled in as a background extra. Today, Harry is a writer and director of feature films. His latest, “Staring at the Sun” has won major awards at over 40 major film festivals including Best Picture category in New York, L.A. and many others. It’s great to see Harry Greenberger receiving this well deserved career success!

SmithFoods “The Children’s Table”

On November 5, 2018, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

SmithFoods of Orrville, Ohio is a family owned company, founded in 1909. They supply premium dairy and other food products throughout Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.

The Innis Maggiore Agency of Canton, OH chose Przyborski Productions to produce SmithFoods’ latest TV campaign. The concept called for casting 5 children and 5 adults who could be those same kids, only now in their 40’s.

Glenn Przyborski directed and photographed the commercial in 4K digital. Props and wardrobe stylists selected kid’s clothes and table props that were popular in the mid-to-late 80’s. Back then, all TV was standard definition, so we rendered the opening sequence in the 4 x 3 ratio of older TV sets. After several visual tests, we decided not to alter the color or contrast of the opening sequence.

The commercial runs throughout Ohio and selected portions of the Mid-West.

Throwback Thursday TV Spots

On May 29, 2018, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

A short time ago, I ran into Russ Streiner, an old friend who’s best known as the producer of George Romero’s, “Night of the Living Dead”. He has the unique distinction of being the first person in the film killed by a zombie. Russ was excited about the Blu-ray HD release of this classic horror film. In the 60’s & 70’s, Russ produced dozens of television ad campaigns. Many people are unaware that his business partner, the late George Romero, was a popular director, cinematographer and editor of TV spots before moving on to motion pictures.

Russ asked if I had saved any of the old commercials created by Hartwick-Przyborski Productions. Paul Hartwick (who passed in 2013) and I founded the company in 1975. From 1975 to 1987, “H/P” produced hundreds of TV commercials for clients and ad agencies across the USA. At one time, we had offices in New York, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

I located several boxes of old 2” and 1” videotape. All these spots were originally shot on 35mm film. In the 70’s & 80’s, commercials were distributed to networks and TV stations, exclusively on videotape.

In no particular running order, I selected 25 commercials. They look and sound so dated when compared to what we do today. Check out the popularity of musical jingles and just how bad electronic title graphics looked 35+ years ago. If you’re over 40, you might remember some of these ads from when they originally aired…

This video is also on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/272371561

Przyborski Productions & Stanley Steemer 2017

On March 15, 2017, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Stanley Steemer is America’s largest and best know cleaning service.

Przyborski Productions produced their new 5 spot TV campaign which currently airs on both network and cable stations. The week long production was shot in Tampa, FL which historically has some of the country’s best winter weather. The most difficult production challenge was staging a parade, complete with an original Stanley Steemer float, marching bands and a hundred extras.

The campaign was created by Jim McCabe, Stanley Steemer’s Creative Director and produced by New York based, Frank DiSalvo. Glenn Przyborski directed, photographed and edited the spots… “It was great working with old friends from the past. James and Frank were the agency creative team behind dozens of successful Giant Eagle, Autozone and Alliance Capital commercials that we previously produced.” Glenn adds, “This campaign is traditional, solid marketing… In an easy to understand way, each spot shows that Stanley Steemer is the best solution to household cleaning problems.”

Space Junk and Mills-James shared the visual effects work. Rob Deaner of Contagious Music created the original music tracks and mixed the spots.

Actor Tom Atkins… Just for Fun

On April 7, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

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…

The Stinkbug vs The Laser

On September 9, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


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.

GE Information Services

On January 6, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


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.