YES Concert Playback Video

On March 25, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Every once in a while, a project comes along that’s completely different and fun to shoot. John Brabender (Brabender-Cox) asked Przyborski to direct and photograph a couple live-action concert playback videos for YES’ 2013 concert tour.  With hits like “Roundabout”, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Long Distance Runaround” and many more, YES, a major group from the 70’s & 80’s, is currently touring the country. They have a huge, cult-like, devoted following that sells out every performance.

“8 Track” is one of the nostalgic videos that were created for playback at the start of the concert and at the end of intermission. The house lights dim and the band begins as the video finishes. Thad Christian, senior editor and graphics artist at Phenomenon Post, edited and color graded the 90 second videos. Michael Goodis created the original sound design.

Przyborski photographed this digital project with a RED Epic at Pittsburgh’s 31st Studios. All footage was shot in an ultra-widescreen, 2.66:1 ratio. This unusual format was requested to allow the video to fill the on-stage, HD projection systems.

1995 TV Spot featuring Cardinal Donald Wuerl

On March 25, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


Giant Eagle is one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. Between 1994 – 2000, Przyborski Productions produced literally all of Giant Eagle’s TV advertising.  These were years of tremendous growth for the multi-state company. During that time period, Giant Eagle’s advertising was fun, different, interesting and entertaining.

In 1995, Bishop Wuerl (now Cardinal Wuerl) was featured in a 35mm TV commercial, endorsing Giant Eagle’s “Apples for Students” program.  With the inauguration of Pope Francis, Cardinal Wuerl has been all over the news. Some say he was under consideration to be the next Pope.

Click the image above to replay this unique TV spot from over 20 years ago…

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…

Images from a Summer Carnival

On September 30, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


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.

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.

Przyborski Shoots Gateway Health Plan’s TV Spots

On December 11, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski

Gateway Health Plan “No One Asks & Can’t Stop Me” :30 TV spots from Glenn Przyborski on Vimeo.

Gateway Health Plan offers “Medicare Assured” coverage to qualified residents of Pennsylvania. The multi-spot campaign featured people who have overcome their health problems and disabilities.

I’m confident in sharing that extensive pre-production is the primary difference between a successful project and hours of overtime and uncontrolled expenses. I elected to photograph the commercials with a Canon 5Dmk3. This camera’s 36mm x 24mm imager yields very shallow depth-of-field images. This keeps visual separation between the on-camera talent and the background. The 5Dmk3 also has great looking color, especially with flesh tones.
For the location spot, generator powered, HMI lighting supplemented natural daylight for the outdoor footage. For the garage scenes, the primary light source was a 1200 watt HMI through a 3′ x 3′ Chimara diffuser. Talent back-lights were LED lighting panels.

The white limbo studio spot was shot using incandescent lighting. 1K & 2K Arri fixtures were used combined with 3×3 & 3×4 Chimera soft diffusers. The BG white limbo rear wall was lit with 5K Arri fresnels. It’s very important when you shoot this type of commercial that the color balance of the light fixtures that illuminate your BG be exactly the same. Otherwise you’ll end up with a color shift from left-to-right or top-to-bottom.

The campaign currently airs in high-definition throughout the State of Pennsylvania USA.

A “Knock-Out” Shoot for Przyborski & BrabenderCox

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


It’s like the story of David vs Goliath… only this time Goliath wins. It’s all from the crazy mind of political media superstar, John Brabender. The spot’s a visual metaphor for the unfair tax advantage a big internet business has over small local shops.

I shot the commercial using a RED One camera at Pittsburgh’s 31st Street Studios. At the rear of the 31st facility is the interior of an old industrial warehouse. A crew erected a full-sized, professional boxing ring as our set. We used 4 “space lights” over the ring as a primary light source. Numerous other HMI’s and other lights were used to highlight portions of the old steel warehouse.

I used the RED for most of the camera setups outside the boxing ring. The fighter’s “punches” were shot at 96fps. Inside the ring, I used a Panasonic AF100 for POV shots from both fighter’s perspectives. All the POV scenes were recorded at 40fps to add a “bigger than life” feel to the action. For several intense fight shots, I wore the primary boxer’s glove on my right hand and punched past the lens to the actor’s face for action cutaways. In case you’re wondering, it’s hard (and very unusual) to shoot a scene while you’re punching your actor.

Senior editor, Thad Christian of Pittsburgh’s, Phenomenon Post edited the high energy spot and created the original title graphics.

Letters from Patients

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


For the past several years, I’ve directed and photographed the HDTV commercials for Boca Raton Regional Hospital. BRRH is one of Florida’s finest hospitals. They’re ranked #1 in Florida for overall cardiac services and stroke treatment. They also have one of Florida’s largest cancer programs.

This video was an opportunity to salute one of Boca Raton’s most important assets: its nurses.

I photographed these candid scenes using Panasonic GH1 & GH2 cameras. These small DSLR’s were equipped with Olympus 14-35mm F2 zooms and Canon FD series 50mm F1.4 & 85mm F1.2 lenses. For several days, we maintained a very low profile working in and around active operating rooms and patient areas. Small, 12″ x 12″ LED plexiglas panels were used as fill light on certain scenes.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to direct and photograph Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin in the new TV spots for “The Extra Mile Foundation.” This worthwhile, non-profit organization gives urban kids the chance to attend a school where they learn in an atmosphere that’s free from drugs and violence.

When you’re the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, every hour of your day is blocked out with meetings, interviews and other activities. Mike Tomlin was kind enough to give us 3 hours of his time. Producer and production coordinator, Judy Gurchak and I worked our entire shoot day around Tomlin’s schedule.

Stan Muschwek wrote and produced the new ad campaign. Stan thinks in visual terms, so he wrote scripts that didn’t require our featured talent to rush through his on-camera and voice-over copy. Stan and I have worked together on numerous projects for the past 25 years.

I shot all the 1080P “B-Roll” footage in actual working classrooms. For these scenes, I used Panasonic’s new GH2 camera. It makes great images and it’s small enough that kids don’t feel intimidated having it close to their face. Gaffer, Ted Weigand used small LED soft panels, bounce cards and battery powered LED fill lights to minimize classroom disruptions.

I shot Mike Tomlin’s on-camera segments with Panasonic’s new AF100, HDTV camera. I also photographed the still images for The Extra Mile Foundation’s 2011 print campaign. It feels great to give your time to such a worthwhile cause.

Cancer Survivors

On March 12, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Glenn Przyborski


The concept sounds deceptively simple… real cancer survivors sharing their stories with the home viewer. We all agreed that the TV campaign would be most effective if these non-actors could talk one-on-one, directly to camera.

At Florida’s Lynn Cancer Institute, I mounted a through-the-lens teleprompter system in front of a Sony HDTV digital camera. The prompter’s monitor was fed by a video camera focused on an off-camera interviewer. Suddenly, our cancer survivors were talking and relating to a live human face, instead of a cold glass lens.

Producer/production coordinator, Judy Gurchak deliberately kept crew size to the bare minimum so the on-camera people wouldn’t be intimidated. Black flags and “floppies” were used to block the talent’s view of equipment and off-camera people.

During post-production, I decided to cut the best thoughts together and not worry about jump cuts. We made no attempt to hide the fact that the material had been edited. I felt that once the home viewer feels engaged with the talent and their story, why introduce random side cutaways, shots of hands or other distractions.

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