More Eat ‘n Park TV Fun

On October 10, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


For the latest series of Eat ‘n Park TV spots, Sarah Marince asks employees what they love about Eat ‘n Park (besides their paycheck.) In my favorite spot of the new “Team” series, Sarah gets to put the icing on EnP’s iconic Smiley Face Cookie.

I currently shoot these spots on 2 HDTV digital cameras. All the sync sound sequences are shot on a Panasonic AF-100 equipped with Canon and Olympus lenses. I use the very heavy 14mm – 35mm F2 zoom for most wide angle scenes. Either a 50mm F1.4 or a 85mm F1.2 lens handles talent close-ups.

My second camera for quick, hand-held cutaways is either a Panasonic GH2 or a Canon 5D mk2. All the cutaways in this spot were shot on a GH2 equipped with a 20mm F1.7 lens.

Over the years, I’ve found that the only way to direct and shoot this “scripted spontaneity” is to think of each sequence as a very short play.

While gaffer, Ted Wiegand is setting lights with the crew, I’ll have the talent first perform the scene or sequence without any direction. Invariably, people will naturally stay too far apart for TV. After a couple run throughs, I’ll get the desired distance between the actors. Then I’ll determine the best wide shot or master shot angle to cover the action. The close-up, return shots between actors happen naturally based on the master shot.

Although I often use a Fisher 10 crab dolly, for this spot I shot all the test kitchen dialogue with my camera mounted on a monopod. It gives the scenes spontaneity and just enough movement as if the action was natural and unrehearsed.

When you’re working in tight quarters, such as Eat ‘n Park’s test kitchen, the choices of camera angles and camera positions are limited, so you make the most of the best overall background for your master shot. The backgrounds for close-ups will be out-of-focus, so you can add, subtract or cheat certain scene elements.

One last bit of advice, when working with “real people” as opposed to actors, let them play themselves. As long as the role they’re playing is within their normal “world” you can usually get a pretty credible performance. I’ve found that non-professionals do their best on the second or third take. After that it’s a crap shoot.

BTW, that’s actually Sarah perfectly icing the cookie in the close-up!

Paul Hartwick 1946 – 2013

On September 24, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

PaulHartwick&Glenn-600px
My former business partner and TV commercial director, Paul Hartwick passed away at UPMC Hospital Sunday afternoon 9-22-13.

Paul and I met while working at Television Production Center (TPC) in Pittsburgh. He had previously worked as an ad agency producer at Ketchum and W.B. Doner which gave him the ability to relate to art directors and writers. In 1975, Hartwick convinced me that we could make a living by starting a commercial production company.

We founded Hartwick/Przyborski Productions in 1975 and operated the company through 1987. During that period “H/P” produced literally hundreds of broadcast advertising commercials for clients and ad agencies across the U.S. We worked separately on most projects and as a team on major productions, especially those from our New York office. Many Pittsburgh crew people got their first film production experience with Hartwick/Przyborski and/or TPC.

Back in the mid-70’s most film projects were actually edited on film. Then a print from the lab was transferred to videotape for TV station distribution. Kodak credited Paul and me as pioneers for shooting 35mm film specifically for editorial on videotape.

Paul Hartwick was an instrument rated, multi-engine pilot and an avid outdoorsman. He loved the woods, hunting, guns, and civil war re-enactments. Years ago, he dropped out of the commercial production business and moved to the Allegheny Forrest near Bradford, PA. Unfortunately, My last contact with Paul was over 10 years ago.

Paul Hartwick is survived by His wife, Mary and daughters, Jennifer & Justi.


Background Info: Don Nehlen is a former head coach of the West Virginia University “Mountaineers” football team. For 20 years, he lead the team to winning seasons and bowl games. Nehlen retired from his successful coaching career in 2000. You know you’re appreciated when the road to Mountaineer Stadium is named Don Nehlen Drive.

A few years ago, West Virginia University Healthcare performed triple-bypass heart surgery, which saved his life. Coach Nehlen agreed to be featured in a TV commercial for the WVUH Heart Institute.

This commercial is an example of combining the best image quality attributes of 2 completely different 1080P HDTV cameras. I shot all of Coach Nehlen’s on-camera interview scenes with my Sony F900R. All the cutaways or “B-Roll” scenes were shot with my Panasonic AF100.

Personally, I’m sick of seeing “interview” spots where the subject is looking and talking off-camera to some nondescript, unidentified person. I wanted Coach Nehlen to tell his story, first person, directly to the home viewer. I resurrected an idea and technology that I first pioneered in the mid-eighties. We hooked 2 cameras and teleprompters together so the coach could talk directly to a virtual image of the interviewer’s face which appeared to “float” in front of the camera’s lens. The technique worked very well and added to the believability and sincerity of the Coach’s on-camera delivery. Thanks to Gary, Jay, Heidi and Mary of WVUH’s marketing team for putting up with my crazy production techniques…

The HDTV commercial is scheduled to begin airing in August throughout West Virginia.

Zacuto Inc. /Chicago

On September 18, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Zacuto is one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative camera equipment and technologies. The company’s high-tech accessories for DSLR cameras are used throughout the world. If you shoot commercial video with Canon cameras, there’s a good chance you own Zacuto accessories.

Based in Chicago, Zacuto has a world-wide distribution network of dealers in Germany, France, Sweden, Tokyo and Singapore.

In addition to my “day job” directing and photographing TV commercials for clients and ad agencies across the US, I’ve been designing several new camera accessories for Panasonic’s GH1/GH2 series of cameras. These upcoming products will enhance the functionality and usability of these popular cameras.

Everyone who knows me is aware that I can’t buy or use a piece of equipment without taking it apart and modifying it. I’m guilty of never being happy with the status quo. I always think something can be better.

Check out Zacuto’s website: http://www.zacuto.com My short bio is part of the “Zacuto Product Designers” section: http://www.zacuto.com/zacuto-product-designers

Kent State Football Honors Jim DeVincentis

Kent State’s football “team room” was recently named in honor of Jim DeVincentis, a 1984 inductee into the Varsity “K” Hall of Fame. The newly-renovated space includes extensive wall graphics, an enhanced video system and ample seating for the entire team.

DeVincentis was a four-time NCAA qualifier and was twice voted captain of Kent State’s swimming team. Named the Mid-American Conference’s Most Outstanding Swimmer in 1975, the McKeesport, Pa., native won 13 MAC Championships (6 individual, 7 relay) and set three school and seven conference records.
 
“I’ve grown to know Jimmy D as a man who has tremendous passion for his alma mater and the welfare of our students,” says Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen. “We’re fortunate to have him as part of the Kent State family.”
 
DeVincentis graduated from Kent State in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications & business and currently serves as member of the National Athletic Development Council.

Executive producer, Jim DeVincentis & Coach Don Nehlen

For 20 years, retired WVU Football Coach Don Nehlen brought the WVU Mountaineers from obscurity to a powerhouse in the Big East Conference. Thanks to Nehlen, WVU has one of the best college football stadiums and training facilities in the country. His athletic leadership abilities have been missed in Morgantown since his retirement. You know you’re appreciated when the road to Mountaineer Stadium is named Don Nehlen Drive.

Several years ago, Nehlen’s life was saved by triple-bypass heart surgery at West Virginia University Hospitals. We had the pleasure of filming Don as he told his story for an upcoming WVUH Heart Institute commercial. It’s always fun working with the marketing team at WVUH and agency, Fahlgren Advertising. Stay tuned… I’ll post the commercial as soon as it’s finished.


Taye Diggs stars on ABC-TV’s “Private Practice” He’s a Hollywood “A” list TV actor with a long resumé of shows, movies and guest appearances.

16 years ago in ’95, Taye Diggs was a young actor making the rounds doing New York casting sessions. I was in NYC, with agency producer Frank DiSalvo, casting a series of Giant Eagle Supermarket TV spots. We were looking for a young male actor to play the “helpful, polite deli clerk” (that’s how the client approved script referred to his part.) 24 year-old, Taye Diggs had a great look and did a killer job at the session.

We flew Taye to Pittsburgh for an all-night shoot in one of Giant Eagle’s Supermarkets. Back then, Giant Eagle insisted that all TV production be done between 10PM and 6AM. Taye did a great job and maintained a positive attitude… even at 3AM!

Next thing you know, he’s featured on an episode of NBC’s Law & Order. Then he’s a regular on Ally McBeal… next he lands the lead on the TV series, Kevin Hill … then it’s Grey’s Anatomy… Now he stars in the popular, Private Practice airing every Thursday night at 10PM.

I’d like to think that Taye’s good fortune started when he appeared in our 1995 Giant Eagle spot… after all, his agent requested several VHS dubs of the commercial to send to West Coast casting directors. You know…the more I think about it, Taye Diggs owes his success to Giant Eagle!

American “Pop” Artist, Burton Morris

On May 3, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Director, Glenn Przyborski and artist, Burton Morris

Just finished shooting an internet video project with Burton Morris, one of the country’s hottest artists. I love his energetic, vivid, fun style of unique “Pop” art, which is a tribute to artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Although Burton now resides in L.A., he has family and professional ties to his home town of Pittsburgh, PA. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Burton started his career as an art director at several major Pittsburgh ad agencies.

Burton Morris has created major works for CocaCola, The Academy Awards, Heinz, the Olympics, Absolut Vodka and hundreds of other corporations. Although he’s an internationally famous artist, Burton Morris’ is also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

He just completed a fun project for Eat ‘n Park Restaurants. Burton created his own original art to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Smiley,” Eat ‘n Park’s corporate cookie icon. This summer, Burton Morris’ original artwork will adorn t-shirts, coffee mugs and other items that are sold in Eat ‘n Park’s chain of over 80 restaurants.

Sorry, I can’t reveal Burton’s original “Smiley” artwork, ’till it’s unveiled in June!… stay tuned!

Eat ‘n Park’s Strawberry Pie TV

On April 28, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


I used Panasonic’s new AF100 to shoot the latest HDTV campaign for Eat ‘n Park, a Pittsburgh based chain of restaurants. In one 10 hour shoot day, we had to set, light and stage a sequence inside the company’s test kitchen. This included several tasty food shots of strawberry pies. The second half of the day was used to film “customer testimonials” and customer interaction with country singer and company spokesperson, Sarah Marince. (Sarah just celebrated her 21st birthday!)

The shots inside Eat ‘n Park’s test kitchen were lit with 3, 1200 watt Arri HMI’s located outside the kitchen’s windows. To create a warm feel of early morning sunlight, we put CTO gel on the HMI’s. The interior fill light was from 12″ x 12″ daylight balanced LED panels. I manually set the AF100’s color balance to 4700K to keep the warm feel without going too yellow or orange. Most of the kitchen scenes were shot from a Fisher 10 crab dolly. For the pie cutaways, I mounted my AF100 on a small, homemade tabletop dolly with skate wheels. I used my Olympus 14-35mm F2 lens for the wide and medium wide shots and an older Canon 85mm F1.2 FD lens for close-ups.

A few of the in-restaurant scenes were filmed from the Fisher crab, but for most I used a Manfrotto mono-pod. This created a more spontaneous and unpredictable feel to the back and forth dialogue. Most of these scenes were shot with a EF series, Canon 24-70 F2.8L lens, wide open at F2.8. All the in-restaurant footage was lit with HMI’s outside the restaurant and LED panels and white bounce cards inside. We exchanged all the warm-white CFL bulbs for 5000K lamps.

The second portion of the video is a movie theater ad that plays between shows in hundreds of theaters in Western Pennsylvania. I shot this simple on-camera delivery spot at the end of our shoot day.

S&T Bank spot featuring Jerome Bettis

On April 21, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

I used Panasonic’s new AF100 HDTV camera to shoot this commercial which features former NFL SuperStar Jerome Bettis. With the exception of the airliner cutaway, every scene was shot at 1080P using Canon FD series lenses. I shot the Airbus 319 airliner cutaway in the pouring rain using my smaller GH-2 camera. The spot was fun to shoot and the folks at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, PA and Spirit Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale were very accommodating. Jerome Bettis always arrives on-set with a great attitude and gives 100% to the project. The commercial will air on numerous stations and cable systems in Western Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh based Elias-Savion Advertising is S&T Bank’s advertising agency.

Page 3 of 512345

Weather forecast by WP Wunderground & Denver Snow Service