Sharon Needles // Santiago Felipe

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Last month we opened up our Brooklyn Soundstage to the one and only Sharon Needles to shoot a music video for the first single off of her latest album, "Battle Axe". Aside from being an avid performer and recording artist, Needles, the "PBR Princess"  is best known for being crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar" on the 4th season of RuPaul's Drag Race. She joined forces with Producer/Director, Santiago Felipe to create this hilariously dark video, paying homage to such films as Mommy Dearest and Devil Wears Prada. The sets were drenched in colors that pop onscreen, while the talent filled the space with their contrasting dark costumes. Fairly simple, yet incredibly effective use of lighting with a few overhead Arri's and some Kino Flo 4 banks to keep the shots nice and bright in our photo studio rental space. Ok, now stop reading and go get lost in the world of "Battle Axe"! 

                                                   ~words and photos by Justin Buschardt~

Casper // ABC Projects

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We recently had ABC Projects at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a new spot for Casper and their awesome new line of mattresses. Casper is an NYC based company that is known for eliminating the need for showrooms and creating an easy way to ship out there state of the art mattresses to their customers with a compact box at a fraction of the price. The shoot itself was fairly stripped down as far as the set design, placing it's main focus on the mattress with the use of a jib operator, some great NYC talents along with some diffused lighting techniques. Always love watching new businesses bring their work to life at our photo studio rental space! Check back soon for the final product.

St. Vincent // All Ages Productions

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A few weeks back we had Philly based visual artist, Alex Da Corte join forces with All Ages Productions at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a hyper modern, color drenched video for "New York", the charming new single from  the one and only St. Vincent. Alex Da Corte is known for his installation work that has appeared at the Secession in Vienna along with the Whitney Museum in New York. He has collaborated with a number of other artists and musicians, incorporating his visuals into their music and eventually crossing the line into video work and directing. When he was approached by Annie Clark (St.Vincent) a while ago about working together, it was a no-brainer as he was also a big fan of hers.

Most of the video was shot in our studio rental space while the remainder was on location in Manhattan. The beautiful sets where built on site in-between scenes by Alex and his talented art department. The minimal yet incredibly intoxicating world they created fits in nicely to "New York" as it's already a fairly stripped down song in comparison to the rest of St. Vincent's work. For more info on the making of the video, check out this interview with our friends over at Pitchfork. Enjoy!

Words & Photos by Justin Buschardt

 

 

Charlene Kaye // "Cheshire Kitten"

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A few months back we had the pleasure of opening up our Brooklyn soundstage to NYC based songwriter, Charlene Kaye to shoot a music video for her future-funk track, "Cheshire Kitten". The song is exploring the many sides that we has individuals take on and the roles that we play under different circumstances and experience. "We’re multi-faceted creatures, and one can be many contradictory things at the same time. Lyrically, that opened up a lot of questions and ideas about what it means to be a woman, and how we can be breadwinners and we can be sexual; we can be aggressive, delicate, soft. And it doesn’t just apply to women. I think that men should and can embrace all of those contradictory impulses within them, too." 

Charlene worked with friend/choreographer Jadee Nikita with an old vogue style dance that was made popular in the Harlem ballroom scene back in the 1960's. Throughout the shoot she is wearing a handmade suit made of iridescent cellophane which, much like the theme of the song, is constantly changing based on the movement within each environment along with the way the lights hit. Overall, the set design was pretty bare bones, using Leko spotlights at ground level along with some beautiful colors across our cyclorama for Charlene to dance across. The steadycam operator followed her every move adding a fluid energy to an already exciting performance. To learn a bit more about Charlene Kaye and her process, check out this awesome interview with Hollywood Life here

Loose Seal Productions // Millennials

We had a great time with the Loose Seal Productions crew this weekend. They set up shop at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a hilarious spot about the life and times of millennials and what they're all about. Loose Seal is made up of co-founders, Lucien Florez and Michela Smith who started the company about a year ago with the intention to create memorable content about social satire without taking themselves too seriously. 

The set design was fairly straightforward, shooting against our massive white cyclorama with space lights up on the grid to create more focus on the talent. The costumes and props were a lot of fun and felt reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Check back soon for the final product!

UNIQLO // KYLE NYC

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Last week we had the pleasure of having KYLE NYC into our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a new campaign for UNIQLO and their upcoming fall line. KYLE is an NYC based Production company who take great pride in being primarily owned and operated by women and minorities. Their team of creatives, directors, editors, and effects artists take on everything from film to commercial and editorial work.

The overall vibe of this shoot at our studio rental space was stripped down and playful, sharing some new looks while keeping it light on set. Check back soon for the final product!

 

 

Alvvays "In Undertow" // Jog Films

We recently had the pleasure of opening up our Brooklyn soundstage to Canadian based, indie pop shoegazers, Alvvays to shoot a music video for their new single, "In Undertow". The band joined forces with Director/Filmmaker, Joe Garrity and his team at Jog Films to bring this rather ambitious concept to life that front woman, Molly Rankin describes as “aquacosmic psych meets public access TV,”

The setup consists of a homemade revolving stage with an infinity mirror built into the center, minimal lighting and some steady-cam trickery all enclosed by a panoramic projector screen displaying a slew of animations from 4 separate projectors stitching it all together. To add even more dimension, they created an epic low-fi wash over the entirety of the video with the use of an old VHS camcorder against the projections to create an endless feedback loop. It was Garrity's goal to capture the length of the video in as few shots as possible with the use of timing and some well executed choreography from the band. The end result is quite beautiful and trippy to say the very least.

"In Undertow" is the first single to be released off of their new record, "Antisocialites", which is set to drop on Polyvinyl Records in early September.

Check out the video here

                                               ~words & photos by: Justin Buschardt~

Paper & Posture Mag // NYC Pride Collaboration

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There's quite possibly nothing more refreshing than seeing two different publications come together to create something to celebrate a common bond. We had our friends at Paper and Posture Magazine join forces in our Brooklyn studio rental space to produce a piece just in time for NYC Pride focusing on the gender-fluid future. In this photo series, they embrace the wide gender spectrum by highlighting 18 creative individuals with an interview for each to share their unique stories and the mark they continue to leave on the community. 

This hyper-colorful shoot explored these personalities with minimal lighting and the use of mostly found objects that the crew repurposed to use for their amazing set. There was definitely a fine line between retro and futuristic elements used to create the overall aesthetic on our Soundstage. The layering of this DIY set with the over the top costume design really made this project pop in a rather exciting way! Check out the full story here.

Producer and Posture Editor in Chief = Winter Mendelson / @winter.e.m

Interviewer/Writer and Arts Editor = Maya Harder Montoya @mayaceleste

Photographer = Ryan Burke / @ryburk of Kreative Kommune / @kreativekommune

Senior Photo Director = Asher Torres / @ashertorresphotography

Photo Director = Ryan Bevans / @ryanbevans

Set Designer = Mo Pepin / @mostafapep

BTS Photos = Justin Buschardt

The Chainsmokers // Ways & Means

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It's not every day we get to spend the day at our studio rental space with the parents of a Grammy Award winning artist. The folks at Ways & Means Productions teamed up with Spotify to shoot a promo for EDM-Pop duo, The Chainsmokers brand new album, with a little help from  very special guests...their moms! The set was fairly straightforward featuring an interview style approach, keeping the focus on the mothers and the box of "memories" that was used on the cover of their album. The lighting was minimal and diffused in a way that made you feel like you were inside your childhood bedroom, much like the theme of the album. By the end of the spot our Brooklyn soundstage ignited with an explosion of confetti in celebration of the new release. Take a look here.

Be Electric Studios // Adventures In Soundproofing

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This week we closed down for business to start construction on a new and improved phase of soundproofing for our Brooklyn studio rental space. We were lucky enough to bring on our good friends from Greenpoint's very own Windmill Studios to offer their time and expertise to bring our space to the next level. These sound and design gurus have not only soundproofed their own studios, but a number of other spaces around NYC as well, so we are very thankful to be in good hands.

The main operation that took place was the installation of two massive Elephant doors to close off the area of our offices and loading bay from the soundstage NYC. These are built with two layers of dry wall on inside and  three on the outside; all sealed with green glue which also acts as a dampening compound. Any possible outside noise from the streets will now be sealed off completely by simply pulling these sliding doors shut. The crew also designed a laminated acoustic double door system in the wall next to the Elephant doors for people to be able to walk in and out of the studio with ease. They used decoupled construction throughout the entirety of the build so there are no mechanical connections whatsoever, which leads to a far more secure noise free zone.

These are just the first steps of our Brooklyn Soundstage makeover and we are excited to share more as we continue. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

First Born Productions // Jet.com

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We have First Born Productions in our photo studio rental space all week shooting new products for eCommerce website Jet.com. Like most eCommerce shoots, the set up is fairly simple in order to be able to add and subtract whichever products need to be represented on the set. Lighting is key when it comes to this kind of work so the crew went with 2 Profoto Giant reflectors to capture everything evenly. Since Tuesday our Brooklyn soundstage has been filled from end to end with all the products from their upcoming catalogue and they are working their way to the finishline. 

Slowdive // Pitchfork Live

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It's been quite the busy week at our Brooklyn soundstage. Less than 24 hours after our live stream session with Mac Demarco, Pitchfork had yet another session set up and ready to go for legendary shoegazers Slowdive. The English natives just happened to be in town for two sold out nights at Brooklyn Steel. They arrived to our studio the morning after their first NYC show in two years, and first since releasing their brand new album (first album since 1995's "Pygmalian"). 

The setup for this live stream which took place via Pitchfork's facebook page at 1 o'clock on Tuesday was a little bit different stylistically than the one from the day before. Rather than including any bright colored set walls, they kept things simple with our freshly painted black cyclorama and a massive wash of fog throughout to help set the tone. This stream was also shot in black and white which seemed rather appropriate. It was an absolute honor to have Slowdive in our photo studio rental space amidst their triumphant return. If you weren't able to get a hold of tickets in time and you missed the live stream, you can still check out the show here.

words & photos by: Justin Buschardt

Mac Demarco // Pitchfork Live

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In celebration of Mac Demarco's new album, "This Old Dog", our friends over at Pitchfork thought it'd be a nice gesture to film a live stream performance at our very own Brooklyn soundstage on Monday evening. Before long our studio was filled with some of the bands friends and fans to provide more of an authentic feel to the whole playing to an audience of people at home tuning in on their computers and/or other respective electronic devices. About a quarter of the way through the set, Mac even invited everyone in the studio to come up and sit down around the band to make themselves more comfortable. It was quite the intimate evening of sharing new music along with some hilarious antics in honor of the latest album that dropped just last week. 

This marked the first live stream session we've hosted at our photo studio rental space with Pitchfork and we could not be happier with the results. The set up was fairly straightforward with minimal lighting, some fog and the camera crew surrounding the stage for multiple angles while the band played on our stage in front of some multicolored flats. There was a small team in our back office editing video and cutting shots on the spot for your viewing pleasure. If you missed the actual live stream, don't worry; it's up and available for you to watch here. Grab some popcorn and a beer and enjoy the show!

words and photos by: Justin Buschardt

Pussy Riot // Teen Vogue

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Last month we had front woman, Nadya Tolokonnikova of Russian feminist punk band/art collective, Pussy Riot at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a conceptual video with artists Jessie Askinazi and Claire Christerson, in support of the East Los Angeles Women's Center (ELAWC). This collaboration titled "Clusters" featured on Teen Vogue is intended to bring awareness to the potential financial cuts to programs that are dedicated to helping women who have been sexually assaulted as well as survivors of domestic violence. Despite the staggering statistics of abuse throughout our country, the Trump administration proposed to cut all 25 grants under the Violence Against Women Act back in March, which would in turn directly affect funding for the many programs that serve to help these victims.

During her interview with Teen Vogue, Nadya speaks up about her inspiration for this project and the fact that getting rid of these institutions simply puts peoples lives in jeopardy. "I'm angry that instead of protecting our rights the government are ceasing them. I'm sick of it." With an ever growing list of provocative demonstrations and politically charged music, Nadya is probably best known for her group's 2012 guerrilla performance in a church protesting President Vladimir Putin and the church's support of his presidential campaign. This resulted in a 2 year prison sentence for her as well as another member of the all girl group after being charged for "hooliganism". In turn, Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Putin's crackdown on free speech. This of course carries over to our current situation that seems to be unfolding under the rise of Trump in their previous video depiction called, "Make America Great Again".

To watch this moving piece shot at our photo studio rental space and learn more about it's origins check out the full article here.

Pop Sugar // NYC Power Couples

Back in March we had Pop Sugar on site at our photo studio rental space filming a piece on NYC entrepreneurs and their experience working together while being together romantically. They teamed up with LA based Paige Denim who not only styled the shoot, but helped to fund the collaboration. The overall approach to the shoot was fairly simple with minimal lighting against our cyclorama wall to keep a tight focus on the subjects. Check out the final product here!

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble // "Mary"

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 Throughout the course of history we've all been exposed to a handful of "family bands" whether it be such names as The Jackson 5, Hanson or The Partridge Family.  The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, also known as the "Bad Boys of Jazz" are simply on a whole other level when it comes to the term. Originally based out of Chicago, this group consists of 8 brothers who all grew up in the same household, each playing horn instruments since they were old enough to hold onto one. Though they played together throughout their childhood with their dad, Phil Cohran, it wasn't until the early 2000's that they formed what is now the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Aside from having nearly 10 studio albums under their belt, they've accompanied a list of influential artists on record as well as on stages across the world. They've performed with the likes of Wu Tang Clan, Mosdef, Gorillaz, De La Soul, The B-52's, Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino and perhaps most fondly, the late Prince.

The band joined us at our Brooklyn soundstage this week to shoot a video for their new breezy summer single, "Mary". When trumpet player, Yosh told us they were all brothers it was easy to assume that he just meant they were very close friends that grew up together. Something about the idea of 8 siblings playing music together successfully all those years seemed difficult to imagine. He clarified what he meant and from that point on it was very apparent that they were in fact family. Everything from the way they moved and played together, the warm way they joked around and especially the way the backed each other up when it came to creative input for the video process. Everything they did seemed to be framed with a certain kind of harmony that only siblings have the ability to share.

The set was fairly minimal, showcasing the band in black suits against our white cyclorama wall accompanied by their instruments and even our very own piano that usually lives in our bathroom. Some of the members had their children join in on the fun wearing matching attire while making their film debut. We even had a friend of the studio come by with his well-trained Doberman Pinscher, Lincoln to make a special appearance for the final scene. We are definitely looking forward to seeing the final product. For now, catch them on tour in a city near you!

This & That // Payday Candy Bar Spot

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The last few weeks have been scattered with such a plethora of different shoots across our multiple Brooklyn soundstages that it's been difficult to keep up. One of those just happened to be for an all new Payday candy bar spot guided by the the talented vision of the This and That production team. Though the overall layout for the shoot appeared to be rather minimal on set, we're sure that they have big plans to go above and beyond with their concept. Never have we ever seen so many literal nuts in our studio rental space at once! If this is anything like the 2014 Payday commercials we all remember, then I'm sure the This and That crew has their sights set on delivering the goods.

Teen Vogue // No Agency NYC

A couple of months back we had Teen Vogue at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a collaborative piece with their friends, No Agency. No Agency is a NYC based talent and modeling agency that represent a diverse group of artists who just happen to model as well. Unlike most agencies, they have quite the contrasting approach when it comes to the message they are trying to convey, which overall seems to be that not all models are simply just that. Teen Vogue and photographer Katie McCurdy wanted to highlight that in this project at our Bushwick photo studio. This dynamic crew showcases all kinds of unique skills and traits on as well as off camera whether it be performance art, music, illustration or even activism. It's quite refreshing to see these women being celebrated for all of the many talents they have--outside of the world that their audience may usually see them in--along with their individual points of view. Teen Vogue and No Agency throw any stigma about modeling out the window with this piece, reflecting that It's not always just about the images you see on paper or online. Check it out here!  

A couple of months back we had Teen Vogue at our Brooklyn soundstage to shoot a collaborative piece with their friends, No Agency. No Agency is a NYC based talent and modeling agency that represent a diverse group of artists who just happen to model as well. Unlike most agencies, they have quite the contrasting approach when it comes to the message they are trying to convey, which overall seems to be that not all models are simply just that. Teen Vogue and photographer Katie McCurdy wanted to highlight that in this project at our Bushwick photo studio.

This dynamic crew showcases all kinds of unique skills and traits on as well as off camera whether it be performance art, music, illustration or even activism. It's quite refreshing to see these women being celebrated for all of the many talents they have--outside of the world that their audience may usually see them in--along with their individual points of view. Teen Vogue and No Agency throw any stigma about modeling out the window with this piece, reflecting that It's not always just about the images you see on paper or online. Check it out here!

 

Pop Sugar // NYC Power Couples

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We recently had the opportunity to work with one of NYC's go-to sources for pop culture and celebrity news, Pop Sugar, at our Brooklyn soundstage. They teamed up with Los Angeles based Paige denim to style the shoot along with producer Lauren Sofair to do a collaborative piece about power couples in the city. The idea is that each couple sits down face to face and takes turns interviewing one another on their experience and what it's like to work together. Since nothing is scripted, they along with the audience get a pretty good insight as to what the others true thoughts are on the topic. The crew kept things pretty simple as far as their setup went on our cyclorama. Some minimal lighting, a few chairs and decor helped keep the focus on the subject for this fun piece that should be online soon for your viewing pleasure.

Time Inc. // IKEA

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Back in December we had our friends with Time Inc. over for a few days at our film studio rental space to do a special time lapse product shoot for bedroom pieces. This week they are back at our production studio for the week with director Matthew David Wachsman to focus on a new line of IKEA dining room, living room and outdoor patio furniture for the new season. Similar to their last project here, they are capturing each look with a stylized hyper lapse in 28 minute shots to show their customers interesting ways to set up their home using different variations. It's been interesting to watch the constant flux  of the art department moving things around to achieve this goal on our cyclorama without the use of a greenscreen to superimpose each idea. Always a pleasure housing such innovative work.