Elephant Media // The Dental Dating Game

We had the chance to sit down and talk with writing partners Cory and Brian of Elephant Media. These two are the brains behind this charming commercial for Long Island based, Pure Dental who are known for their spa-like treatment at an affordable rate. Elephant media has actually shot two commercials for this company previous to this at our Bushwick soundstage and have since built a strong relationship with Pure Dental based on trust and creative liberty.   

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  This time around, it was their goal to draw their audience in with marketing that would not only inform but make them laugh as well. It's not necessarily common to see a commercial about dentistry that has this ability, so it was important for them to take a fresh approach. "In the end It's all about having fun, and if it makes us laugh, we feel like we're doing something right." They mentioned that since their first commercial dropped, Pure Dental's bookings have tripled which is something to be proud of and also proof that thinking outside of the box is quite effective in this case. For this particular shoot, they were inspired by the good old fashioned, "Dating Game" show, creating well thought out characters in more of a modern light.

Check out their finished piece here,

A&E // Home Design

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We had the crew from the A&E Television Network take over our Brooklyn soundstage for a few days this week to shoot a series of videos for online content focusing on a new DIY home design show. They spent the first day and a half transforming our studio rental space into an elaborate set featuring two different rooms that would serve multiple functions throughout their shoot. From bedroom to workshop, the art department changed the scenery to serve the needs of the script. As involved as the sets were, the crew took a fairly minimal yet effective approach when it came to shooting the content needed. We really enjoyed this crew and look forward to working with them again in the future.

Sensorium Works// George Saunders' "Lincoln on the Bardo"

A few months back we had the fine folks of Sensorium Works at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot their virtual reality adaptation of celebrated short story writer, George Saunders' first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo". Though the book itself doesn't drop until Feb. 14th, filmmaker Graham Sack and his team wanted to contribute their vision of one of the key chapters of the book in the form of a full on interactive short film shot entirely with a 360 degree camera. The New York Times just released this imaginative piece today and can be viewed through the NYT VR app.

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      The short film focuses on President Lincoln and an encounter between him and his son where Lincoln goes to the cemetery soon after his son's burial, removes his body and cradles it in grief. A list of different characters appear from a number of different sections within the book for the viewer to come across in this interactive representation. Before coming in to our studio rental space to shoot the remainder on our green screen, the Sensorium team shot on location at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, mapping out all of the character placement, inch by inch so that they could stitch it all together seamlessly for your viewing pleasure. Take a look here.

Russell Elliot // Reimagining R&B

A few months back, we had multi-talented R&B singer/Producer, Russell Elliot at our Bushwick film and photography studio to shoot his latest music video for his new single, "On You". This NYC based artist is quite the unique soul and has been on the scene for nearly a decade now, using his powerful voice and all inclusive ideology to connect with his listeners. He delivers his points of view with a genuine sincerity and a powerful voice that draws you in and grips your attention from the get go, telling stories to shake up the way we've always thought about things. As an artist it's his goal to ask the tough questions in regards to our culture and our values, putting heavy emphasis on equality and steering his genre away from misogyny. Upon meeting Russell, we recognized the fact that there was a constant smile on his face throughout the day at our sound stage. This demeanor is definitely contagious as I couldn't help but notice the joy it brought out in the rest of his crew, myself included. Nothing but positivity all around. we're sure this is the case during his live performances as well. After some research, we found this to simply be part of who he is as a person, as an artist hoping to spread that joy in whatever direction he can. 

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We had the opportunity to sit down and pick Russell's brain to gain some further insight on his projects as well as some of his day to day routines and current endeavors. Check out the interview along with the new music video for "On You" below.

1. First of all, where are you from?

What's good, Be Electric?! I'm from right outside D.C. 

2. When you think of the music you are working on, what are some of the influences that come to mind?

I find inspiration everywhere! And I definitely go through phases with the music I listen to (ask me about that one road trip when I listened to the same Gloria Estefan song on repeat for 4 hours... actually don't). Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the CD I wore out until it skipped. I still bump R&B babymaker classics like Silk, 112, Boys II Men, and Maxwell. More recently I've been crushing on Kehlani, Jasmine Sullivan, Jack Gerratt, Solange, New Frank Ocean (obviously), Russ, & Leikeli47 to name a few. Prince, Beyoncé, Amy Winehouse, & Aaliyah are my forever heroes. 

3. Did you grow up knowing that you wanted to make music? 

Music and storytelling were all around me from early on. I was an actor as a kid so I knew I wanted to be on stage and on TV. I also studied classical piano and loved it. It took properly getting my heart broken for the first time to pull it all together and start writing songs. I wrote my first songs at 14/15 and cut my first record at 16 in Nashville (no, you can't find it anywhere. Thank God.) 

4. Tell us about your day to day here in NYC. Music and beyond.

I write, produce, and perform all my own music. Most of my time is dedicated to perfecting the live show, writing new music, working on the business, & scheming up video concepts. I dance often. I explore the city often-- though less so now that it's winter. I work with other artists in a producer capacity, helping to refine and clarify their ideas. I just finished up a gig where I helped teach an Entrepreneurship Course at NYU's Clive Davis Institute. I also help a dance studio in Greenpoint with strategic partnership marketing. I stay busy! 

5. I notice that your music video's include a large element of freestyle as well as choreographed dance, is this something that you've had some training in?

I've been dancing since college! Everything from Ballet to HipHop. Where hiphop and body rolls meet contemporary is where I'm most at home. 

6. So, you ran a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014 to help fund your 4 song EP along with a music video for your single, "Around"; do you feel that the crowdfunding element brought on a certain sense of responsibility to push yourself in a way that you haven't before with your art?

Amazing Question. Absolutely. With Kickstarter, all of the sudden there were new people involved in my creative process. I'm generally pretty private so at first that terrified me. The fact that people were invested--not just in the product but also in the process-- definitely held me accountable, fortified me, and contributed to the success of the EP. It was definitely a process though-- learning to create with an audience. 

7. Was the recent video you shot at Be Electric Studio crowd sourced as well or done independently this time around? Or do you happen to have some representation now that helped?

"On You" is a hybrid project in terms of fundraising. Half of the funding was independently sourced, the other half was matched by our extremely generous partners. (They're credited in the video!) No representation. My team and I are 100% independent. 

8. You've been performing on some level for a decade or so, how do you feel you've grown over the years, whether it be in your actual performance level or even the message you are trying to convey today compared to when you first started?

The success of  "Around" definitely cemented my promise to always be authentic with my work. I think, as humans, authenticity is what we respond to. As Americans, I think it's what we need right now. It's the commitment to authentic material that made me double down on my commitment to hone my craft. I want to do my stories justice. 

9. What are your thoughts on the current sociopolitical climate and what that could mean for you as an artist?

I'm just trying to stay intersectional, stay humble, stay authentic, stay joyful...I turn especially to the women of color in my life-- many of whom have being doing agitation and resistance work for a very long time-- to learn a thing or two about how to meaningfully protest. We've all got a lot of work to do to resist Trump. I hope to rise to the challenge & use my platform for good. (I also wrote a piece for Thought Catalog that went live yesterday about how I hope to be of use in tough times.)

 

Penelope Productions // Pace Salsa Commercial Spot

      Every day is a brand new day at our studio rental space. Without fail, we can count on a new creative team coming into Be Electric to shape something unique, whether it be a fashion shoot, music video, editorial or even a feature film. This week we had Penelope Productions in our Bushwick studio for their first time to shoot a commercial spot for Pace Picante Salsa. Penelope Productions  specialize in creating memorable solutions that are highly customized to reflect a brands particular DNA. On their first day, the art department built out a rather extravagant and colorful set, perfectly stylized for the vibe of the commercial. 

      To keep up with the comedic tradition that we all know and recognize from the previous Pace advertisements over the years, Penelope Productions took that element and pushed it even further. The writing and direction of the concept was not only clever, but a lot of fun too. This NYC Production filled our soundstage with laughter almost throughout the entirety of their shoot. Check back soon for the final product.

PENELOPE PRODUCTIONS - Video and Photo Studio Rentals in Brooklyn NYC

Penelope Production crew having a blast at our studio rental space.

Kamal Ahmed // "The Martyr Maker"

NYC based actor/director, Kamal Ahmed and and his crew stopped into our video production studio for a few hours to wrap up some final shots for his new feature, "The Martyr Maker". Cinematographer Scott Cramer took advantage of our rental studio's handsome exterior along with basically every corner inside of our space while using only a very minimal lighting set up.. They basically used every area aside from the actual cyclorama wall. The talent ranged from age 9 to 65, creating a different sort of dynamic then we tend to see at our photography studio on a day to day basis. 

Kamal and his film crew setting up the shot in front of the studio.

Ed-Ape / Stones Throw Records

Ed-Ape is a pretty sweet guy, but he's also one bad dude.

MC/Producer extraordinaire, Ed-Ape rented out our Bushwick film and photo studio this weekend to shoot a music video for his upcoming single with Stones Throw Records. Ed-Ape is known for his comedic approach to independent hip hop and definitely made that clear with his time here at our photo studio. The crew was awesome and they were working with a hilarious concept right here in our Bushwick film and photography studio! Not for the faint of heart . 

Time Inc. // IKEA

Time Inc came in to produce a series of videos at our video and photo studios for a new line of products from IKEA. Each look was created in our NYC based film studios in 28 minute shots that will be sped up into a stylized hyper lapse to help show their customers different ways to style a bedroom using different variations in our video production studios with their products. This technique was definitely the first we've seen in our photography and video studio rentals. The set was lit with our in house grip and electric film equipment and shot on our camera equipment packages. Nice to see that they were able to achieve this without the use of green screen or CGI. Coming soon!

Time Inc using our film studio/soundstage to shoot a time lapse for IKEA furniture .

Smokestack Films // Maggie Rogers

Just before Thanksgiving rolled around we had a last minute shoot with Smokestack Films for a new music video for up and coming singer/producer, Maggie Rogers. Maggie, fresh out of NYU recently made her way onto the scene after a video went viral of Pharrel Williams listening to her track, "Alaska" at his masterclass at NYU's Clive Davis institute back in February. Since then, she has put out a couple of music video Studio and will soon be embarking upon her first big tour. For this music video for her latest single, she brought in a crew of dancers along with some whimsical choreography and some excellent use of lighting to make use of our giant Cyclorama. 

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Herring & Herring // Metallica

A couple of months back, we were approached by Herring and Herring to shoot a couple of videos for Metallica. They needed a studio to shoot the music videos and the album artwork for their recently released album, "Hardwired...To Self Destruct", their first album to come out in over 8 years. Each song is accompanied by it's own unique music video, which is quite ambitious to say the least. The first one they shot with us is called "Now That We're Dead", which is an epic live video of the band performing in all of their glory against our cyc walls. The second link is for a track called, "Am I Savage?" which is more of a narrative that shows all the possibilities that can be achieved in the right studio setting.  We've had to keep this information to ourselves until now, so we're excited to finally share what we've been up to. Enjoy! 

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Sensorium Works // George Saunders // VR Adventures

NYC's very own Sensorium Works came in for a rather extraordinary green screen production, shot entirely in 360 virtual reality for a short film based on writer, George Saunders upcoming novel,  'Lincoln In The Bardo'. Before coming into our photo studio in Brooklyn, their team was out on location at a local graveyard where they shot and mapped out what would the setting for the film with director, Graham Sack. Once in the studio, everything had to be precise so the placement would line up perfectly on green screen. You can tell that this crew was well versed in this process as they certainly made it look easy throughout their few days with us at the studio. Looking forward to see the final product in this interactive film experience.

Iris Media Works

Iris Media Works transformed our studio into a massive set that felt just like home for their commercial for a new independent insurance company. Not sure how they managed to pull off such an intricate build in only a day, but it certainly made for some beautiful shots. Check it out here.

 

Kafka, the studio pup surveying the scene the night before the shoot.

Kafka, the studio pup surveying the scene the night before the shoot.

Barkbox in the House

Be Electric - We had the joy of hosting Barkbox and their team of furry friends to shoot their promotional campaign. Barkbox is an online service for dog owners that delivers a box of goodies including special treats, toys and care each month based on different themes. Not only did the team have to direct the actors through each scene, but the k-9 talent as well. We've never seen such a well behaved cast. 

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Tru Tv // On set with Victor Cruz

A couple of weeks back, Tru TV came in to shoot a hilarious commercial starring NY Giants very own wide receiver, Victor Cruz and his new line of clothing. This parody loosely based on the Old Navy ads we used to see in the early 00's will be featured on Rachel Dratch's (SNL) comedy show, Late Night Snack. 

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Cheap Labor Productions / Retail Space

Cheap Labor Productions came in last week to work on some final photo shots for Brooklyn based band Retail Space's visual album. The team have basically made a series of music videos for each song to be released as concept piece about drowning. Was a pleasure watching their vision come to life on set.

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Paper Mag // Kat Von D

More Than Meets The Eye

Paper Magazine teamed up with Kat Von D to highlight seven women who are making waves in todays pop culture and challenging the ideas surrounding beauty and success. Hair and Makeup featuring Kat Von D's new tattoo liner each applying with her own flare. Check out the inspirational video below and follow the link to the full interview. Video was produced by Extra Extra Creative and features Baddie Winkle, Beverly Johnson, Susanne Bartsch, Carmen Carrera, Dai Burger, Chantel Jeffries, and Kennedy Grace.

Enjoy!

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Bright Light Bright Light Music Video

Earlier this year, Bright Light Bright Light shot several music videos as well as the album artwork for his latest album Choreography. Rod Thomas, the face of BLBL, is a Welsh singer/songwriter delivering vibrant synthpop dance hits such as All In The Name featuring vocals by Elton John. Check out the video below and look forward to more this summer!