Steve Weiss Director

Spiegal came to us in 1995 to make a video about what is Spiegel Group Style.

Spiegal Group has many different divisions and catalogs including, Eddie Bauer, Newport News & of course Spiegel Catalog. They make everything from kitchen products to furniture to clothing. In this video we wanted to mix their various products & divisions together and make a multi-layered piece showing what Spiegel Group Style is. At the time, this was a very complex video to make. The video was shot on super 16mm film with the interviews shot in SD video. This particular version of the edit has a back end which is different (what we call a dealer tag for FIT which is a fashion university).

This video had a three month production cycle. We first started by creating and recording a theme song "Spiegel Group Style". Our production company had a composer/mixer on staff, Dave Besser, he created the music and then brought in some vocalists to sing and layer the vocals. As the Director, I oversaw every aspect of production from music to VO to picture, editing & effects.

The process started in our stage when Jens and I meet with Dave Schulte our set builder and stage mangager. Dave created some kind of rig to move products and furniture while Jens was simultaneously moving the camera on a jib arm. These shots would be the background plate. Then we would shoot the foreground action on green screen and key (cut out) that over the background plate. In those days green screen work on Standard Definition (SD) video was terrible and very scrappy looking on the edges of the key. That's why we shot on film, it was much better, even know we still converted the film to SD video before keying.

The opening shot was very interesting to do. We rented a high a high speed motor for our super 16mm film camera for that one shot since we wanted this extreme slow motion of the girl walking towards the camera. Jens had the great idea to shoot the scene with the camera on it's side (vertical) so the model would be filling most of the frame while walking towards us on green screen. Then in post we rotated the shot and keyed it against a pre-edited background plate. By shooting it this way, we had much more resolution on the girl and it greatly reduced the zipper effect in keying. All of these scenes were setup in our studio, casted, blocked and carefully shot. I think it gives a interesting overall perspective as it merged a collection of Spiegel Group products.

Another theme to this video is color on color. We made a bold statement by showing for example a yellow bowl on a yellow background and other colored objects on the same colors backgrounds throughout the video. At first I wasn't into this concept but the creative directors thought it would be nice so I went along with it. Once I saw it, I agreed, very cool.

The projections on peoples faces were also very difficult. The projector barely put out enough light to show up on someones face. Consequently, we were shooting wide open on high speed film and barely getting enough exposure.

The edit was done in two phases, first phase was a off-line (creative edit) on one of the first NLE's ever made. It was called D-Vision and we worked with the company to help them make their NLE work as a real video editing tool (they were all engineers and didn't understand what editors wanted to do). It only had 1/4 screen viewing with less than VHS resolution & 2 audio tracks, but we were thrilled to be able to edit Non Linearly as opposed to single cut, deck to deck 3/4" editing (that was really primitive).

Director: Steve Weiss
Creative Director: Rick Shaughnessy
Producer: John Lenart
DP: Jens Bogehegn
Carpenter/Stage Manager: Dave Schulte
Camera Assistant: Mark Woods
Editor: Lucyna Wojtas
Composer/Mixer: David Besser
Client: Spiegel Group
Year: 1995/6
Shot on: Arri SR II Super 16mm film, JVC KY320UP Plumbicon tube analog camera with portable Betacam recorder
Off-line edited: D-Vision NLE, 1/4 screen 2 track
On-line edited: 1" open reel video

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Steve Weiss Director

Steve Weiss

This album is some of my corporate & webisodic work that I produced and directed since 1983

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