Shooting in Florida

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

Producer, Judy Gurchak dining at JB's Boca Raton, FL

Just got back from Florida where I directed and photographed a new commercial for Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s amazing orthopedic services. We had a great crew from Miami who primarily work on the popular show, Burn Notice. Pittsburgh based, assistant director, Rich Schutte made the trip with us. We shot continuously from 6am to 4pm! I’ll post the new spot as soon as its edited.

New Technology HDTV Cameras

On April 12, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Przyborski shoots with Panasonic's new AF100 HDTV camera

The biggest trend in commercial production is to create images with very shallow, film-like depth-of-field. This “look” was easy with 35mm movie film. As a general rule, the larger the film frame or imaging device, the “tighter” the depth-of-field and more selective the focus. This contrasts with previous HDTV digital cameras that achieved sharp focus throughout the entire frame.

 

Although I love film and have shot over 2,000,000 feet of it… today’s budget for a typical spot doesn’t have the luxury of $10K to $20K for 35mm film stock, processing, HDTV transferring and sync-ups.

Using “film-like” shallow depth-of-field to separate actors or products from a scene’s background can now be achieved with new, cost-effective cameras from Sony and Panasonic. They use large scale digital imagers that approximate the size of 35mm film negative. Since these cameras record to solid state memory, there’s no added size, weight or expense related a tape mechanism.

I recently shot a series of commercials with Panasonic’s new AF100. I love the fact that all my Canon and Nikon 35mm lenses work perfectly with this camera. Plus, it will shoot 1080P, true slow-motion at 60 frames-per-second. I don’t have a lot in common with James Cameron, but we both agree that professional cameras need to be smaller and lighter.  Technology marches on…

1995 Pagetime Commercial with Dagmara Dominczyk

On April 1, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Dagmara Dominczyk is a Hollywood star. In addition to movies such as “Running with Sissors” and the “Count of Monte Cristo”, Dagmara has been featured in dozens of popular TV series. “24”, “Law & Order SVU” and “Third Watch”, just to name a few.

Back in 1995, Dagmara (who was born in Poland) was a student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. We cast her as a principal in a TV commercial for Pagetime, a division of the now defunct Adelphia Cable Corp. Glenn Przyborski remembers arranging our shoot day so filming Dagmara’s scenes didn’t interfere with her college class schedule. We believe the commercial was Dagmara Dominczyk’s first appearance on commercial television.

The original 1995 commercial was filmed by Glenn in 35mm for Stan Muschweck and The Birmingham Group Advertising Agency.

Time Capsule: GNC TV Spots ’92-’95

On March 17, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Here’s a 4 minute “mini time capsule” of GNC’s early TV advertising. General Nutrition Centers had an amazing period of growth and profitability in the early 90’s. During this time, TV Advertising helped GNC realize it’s first quarterly profit as it went public for the second time.

From ’92 through ’95, Przyborski Productions produced most of GNC’s network TV spots. We introduced their “Gold Card” and many product lines that are still in stores today.

All the commercials were filmed in 35mm, then transferred and edited on 1″ videotape. By the end of 1993, we were editing on D2 composite digital. (In the 90’s, everything was standard definition.)

Compared to what we produce today, most of these old commercials are dated and a little “corny.” Saturday Night Live even did a comedic parody on GNC’s “Colon Cleanser”, titled, “Colon Blow.” Eighteen years ago, sophisticated computer graphics were in their infancy. The stock music GNC used also dates the ads. The 8 commercials in this video were selected from several GNC campaigns.

Scenes from an AirShow

On September 13, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Each year, the 911th Air Wing of the Air National Guard sponsors “Wings Over Pittsburgh” an air show that features military and civilian aviation acts from all over the country.

Even if you’re not an aviation buff like me, it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the sunshine. The second day day of this year’s event took place on Sunday, September 11th, the 10th anniversary of the infamous attack on America. (I’ll never forget 9/11/01. We were shooting a commercial in Jay Verno’s studio the day the Towers fell. We didn’t know if we should continue shooting or just go home…)

The sky was threatening all afternoon and everyone expected weather delays. As it turned out, the only delay was caused by the President and Air Force One as he departed from giving a tribute at the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

I thought the most interesting aerial visual was a modern F-16 jet fighter flying in tight formation with a classic, World War II vintage, P-51 Mustang.

This video is a short collection of scenes from this year’s event.

Special Effects for Arena Football

On January 14, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


This BrabenderCox, Arena Football ad began airing right before Christmas. Since then we’ve had several emails and phone conversations asking how it was done. The interesting thing is that many of the scenes aren’t either video or film… they’re a series of still photographs, blended together to form a moving sequence.

At night, Pittsburgh is not a very bright city. To create the super luminescent “glow” of the city at night. Glenn Przyborski shot many of the scenes as 1/2 to 1 second time exposures. Using an intervalometer attached to a modified Panasonic GH1 camera, Glenn shot approx 300 digital exposures per scene. Using After Effects, these sequences of digital still images were frame blended, re-sized, then converted into 1080P high-definition video.

Phenomenon Post, visual effects supervisor, Thad Christen and digital graphic artist, Danny Johnson painstakingly rotoscoped the various buildings and objects to create multiple traveling masks. These masks allow the lightning and storm footage to replace the sky and create the illusion of various lights being turned off. The moving blur of the running football player was an actor filmed in slow motion on green screen using a RED One camera at WQED’s studio.

An effect driven spot is greatly enhanced by sound effects. Michael Goodis created original sound design and other audio effects that help “sell” the visuals.

Google Wants to Handle Your Client’s Advertising

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

Did you know that Google… the world’s most popular search engine, is now in the business of TV advertising? Google has plans and the technology to sell and distribute TV spots on most of the major cable channels. With their service, there’s no need for media buyers or agency traffic people. If you go through all the info on their site… Google can actually recommend professionals to design and write your TV campaign and production companies (at almost any price level) to produce it. Here’s a link to a site where a guy actually tested the Google TV Ads service: http://masscontrolsite.com/blog/?p=71 After all, who knows more about the public’s viewing habits and personal interests than Google? If you work at an ad agency, watch all the Google videos and read the info from their site… You may be surprised. www.google.com/adwords/tvads/index.html#subid=branded-search

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