nycproduction

Final Product // Lila Music Video

Last month we did a feature on a music video for the group Lila. It was Directed and Produced by Stefano Pennisi, before hand he answered some questions for us regarding the project! He mentioned in his initial interview, "The end result is really something special - You are getting all these mixes of bright florescent colors and different cool looks while still feeling like its part of this black void where everything lives within. I think it's pretty unique and I can't wait to share it with everyone."

Well, the time is up people! The final result is here!  Check out the video, send them your love, and let us know your thoughts!

Thank you to the whole team for using our studios for this awesome project. 

Director / Producer: Stefano Pennisi 

Director of Photography: Bernard Hunt 

Production Designer: Kristen Miller 

Talent: Jon Le Sueur, Eli McDuffee, Robin Owens

Editor: Ryan Ivanoff 

 

Glam Shoot // Winky Lux

Recently,  Winky Lux, the indie beauty brand based out of the Lower East Side, here in NYC, had their second shoot in our studios with photographer Matt Coch. They had a furry pal to help market their new launch of the 'Kitten Palette.' We had a quick chat with the creative director, Kate Fernandez about the magic that went in to bringing this campaign to life. 

1. What was the direction or end goal you had for this project?

Kate: Introducing the Kitten Palette - super luxe, super fabulous, super pink. 

2. What was your favorite part of the production?

Kate: Definitely our cat model Dahlia -- the cat had to listen to classical music to get in the zone!

3. Go to equipment or camera for this project?

Kate: Matt shoots with a Canon 1DS. We used the lighting available to us from the studio as well as a pink seamless you had available.

Now for the fun part- check out the the star kitty & some BTS shots!

 

Azaelia Banks // Complex Media

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Complex Media Presents

Azealia Banks

As is tradition, when a new year comes, new resolutions do too. Many resolutions have to do with working out more or eating healthier, all of which in turn help with one's overall mental health. With these thoughts in mind we wanted to highlight a recent project shot by Complex Media at our stages. The video is an eight minute introspective on the world-renowned recording artist Azealia Banks. The piece goes into detail about the limelight that sometimes prevents superstars like herself from being seen as a ‘real person’. This limelight places stars like her in a place where fans may forget that these artists also go through the same day to day struggles as us, as well as some different ones that fans may not be aware of at all. Due to the constant microscope on their daily affairs and pressure to be perfect, as well as constantly pushing out new, riveting work, the burden on these artists is very real. Azealia and the video itself come across as very raw, as you see wide shots of our NYC studio space and the equipment used, while the artist goes into harsh detail about her hardships to find proactive ways to push her mental health forward in a positive way. Her music comes across as very strong and happy, but as stated, she is nothing more than a flawed human like the rest of us. We absolutely love this piece and the new perspective it sheds on not only her life but a lot of entertainment industry big shots lives’. 

In summation, Azealia states “Every day is a difficult time, I’m Azealia Banks.” Thank you to Complex Media for choosing our film production studio, and a big thank you to Azealia for being so honest with the public about such a sensitive subject. We hope each and everyone of you is able to conquer your 2018 resolutions for a better outlook and overall life.

Best of 2017 // Music Video Features

Best of 2017 // Music Video Features

A quick feature on two music videos shot at our studios that made huge leaps and bounds in the music and video world in 2017.

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.

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

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!

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.

Maggie Rogers // On+Off

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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' new track 'On+Off.'  Maggie, fresh out of NYU recently made her way onto the scene virtually overnight 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. He was speechless to say the least. Since then, she has put out a couple of music videos, played a handful of shows around NY and is now currently embarking upon her first big national tour, most dates of which happen to already be sold out. Maggie and her production team went in a more stripped down direction for this video at our Brooklyn soundstage, bringing in a small crew of dancers along with some whimsical choreography and some excellent use of minimal lighting to make use of our giant Cyclorama. Take a look here!

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,

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 .

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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