As a creative studio, it’s always great to have people send you positive comments about your work. One of the highest compliments we can receive, though, is a request to do a second video for one group because they loved the first so much. So, when the awesome folks from the band Secret Eyes approached us to produce another music video, we couldn’t have been more excited! These guys are incredibly talented and so much fun to work with. Their first video “Ships” featuring Craig Mabbitt is soon to be released, so stay tuned for that!
Compared to “Ships”, the visual concept for this video was significantly easier to execute for director Alan Jaskiewicz — mostly because we didn’t have to build a rocking ship from scratch! Still, finding a location for the new song, called “Oh Dear”, had its own unique challenges. We scouted several venues before settling on one that fit the bill. In searching for that perfect location, our two most desired characteristics were large windows and an interior that loosely resembled something from a Victorian era.
The venue we ultimately chose for the shoot was a beautiful historic hotel in Shadyside called the Mansions on Fifth. Just one look at this place, and we knew we had found something amazing. See for yourself!
(Photos courtesy: mansionsonfifth.com)
Management was very accommodating and equally excited to play host for this project. Seriously, this place was just perfect in every way. If you’re local to the Pittsburgh area, we highly recommend booking a room and just reveling in how magnificent the decor is. The band loved it so much they even stayed the night here. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Great Gatsby themed masquerade in the Grand Hall here? The correct answer is TOTES MAGOTES. And no, we’re not being paid to say any of this.
With the location locked down, we quickly assembled a crew and got to work drawing up a lighting diagram. To help us with this, we enlisted the cinematic expertise of Tyler Morris, who served as the DP. Tyler hails from Dayton, OH and is new to the Pittsburgh area. We were pumped to have him on board and can’t wait to work with him again!
Much like in the “Ships” video, Secret Eyes brought in a guest cameo for production of “Oh Dear.” This time, it was Jonny Craig, the lead vocalist from “Dance Gavin Dance” and soon, a new group “Slaves”, which will make its debut this summer. Working with Jonny was an awesome experience — he rocked out with us for over 5 hours and then immediately left to go play a show at Altar Bar. Beast mode engaged.
With yet another well known presence in the video, we opted to spare no expense in selecting our camera and lighting equipment. As always, we used our RED Epic so that we could shoot at 120 FPS in 5k resolution. Shooting 120 FPS is what gives us the flexibility to gradate from normal speed to slow motion at specific points in the video. Optically, director Alan chose a set of Arriflex super speed lenses. We placed two 6k HMI lights outside of the window to emulate real sunlight and a few kinos inside to light the band members. Once we switched to the close up shots, we added a leko light for ephemeral lens flares. Our gaffer Josh Kubizne operated the leko for those shots:
All in all, the shoot went great, and the footage looks incredible. As always, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our production crew. The guys who break their backs lifting heavy equipment and the ladies who helped with hair/makeup deserve just as much credit as the director and producer. Shout-out to our key grip Eric Schwartzmiller, AC Danny Haritan, Rob Griffith, Nicholas Vettorel, and our resident British dude Ryan Woodford for a job well done. Ryan was on hand to document our on-set antics with a BTS video — we’ll certainly share that with you all soon. We also don’t apologize for anything you may see in it.
Finally, a huge thanks to Katelyn Petraitis for stopping by the set to take the photos used in this post. Katelyn is an amazing photographer and good friend of 323 who specializes in commercial photography. And food photography. And portraits. And… uh, well, she’s just really good at everything. Check out her website here!
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