- 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
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.
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 18 years ago…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
WVU Healthcare is West Virginia’s largest medical center. The facility is also a teaching hospital for hundreds of West Virginia University medical students.
My assignment for this commercial campaign was to capture the thoughts and stories of several doctors and real-life patients. No actors were to be used. The marketing team wanted to show some technology, but humanity would be the primary focus.
Working with WVUH’s creative marketing team of Heidi Specht and Jay Coughlin, I scouted dozens of locations around the hospital complex. In the “real world” of tight budget production, extensive pre-production and logistics play a key role. You’d like to shoot dozens of scenes and angles, but you only have a couple 12 hour days. I needed to spend the time shooting rather than moving from location to location.
Putting together a “doable” shoot schedule is the responsibility of my producer and production coordinator, Judy Gurchak. While the crew was moving equipment from one sync-sound setup to another, I was shooting hand-held footage in operating rooms during actual surgery.
I shot all the sync-sound talent scenes with my Canon 5Dmk3. It’s shallow depth-of-field separated speaking doctors and patients from busy backgrounds. I used a Panasonic GH2 with high-speed Canon FD series lenses for rapid, “B-roll” cutaways. I also employed a GoPro Hero2 HD camera for the exterior time-lapse scenes of the hospital. Pittsburgh’s Jay Green of Big Science Music created the original music and mixed the spot.
Usually, I’m shooting nice things… like attractive people eating food while smiling. This project was completely different.
John Brabender (BrabenderCox) is one of the country’s top political media consultants. For over 10 years, he and I have worked together on many successful TV campaigns. John rarely thinks anywhere near the box, much less inside it.
John gave us less than a week to put together this project. Fortunately, I remembered scouting an old abandoned manufacturing building in Pittsburgh for a previous TV campaign. My producer and production coordinator, Judy Gurchak and I re-scouted the location and it was still available.
I set up most of the shots to take advantage of a wall of windows that lined the North side of the building. This became my primary light source, supplemented with 1200 and 2500 watt HMI’s. We used smoke machines to add atmosphere and distance to the scenes.
Growing up in Florida, I hate shooting in freezing cold weather. For the entire shoot day, our set temperature was less than 50ºF. We couldn’t use heaters because they quickly dissipated the smoke. Our shoot day was overcast and snowy, so we knew we would loose useable window light by 4:30PM.
I used a motorized, 7′ slider for the marching feet scenes and all ground level camera angles. This slider can smoothly move 25 pounds of camera.
I photographed everything with a RED Epic M using the standard set of RED primes including the 300mm telephoto. Every scene (except the fall) was shot at 30fps for playback at 23.98.
Thad Christian at Pittsburgh’s Phenomenom Post did an amazing job editing and grading the 90 second spot in less than 2 days including numerous effect shots. Michael Goodis handled original sound design. Steve Parys worked his butt off as my assistant director. Without the talents of gaffer, Ted Wiegand and scenic designer, Rich Schutte none of this would have been possible in such a short amount of time.
PLEASE: No political comments… I’ve uploaded this commercial to show an interesting assignment and production treatment… it’s not intended to be a political statement.