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PHOTO NIGHTS BOSTON

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Mike Pecci: More Than Just Pictures

09 Sep 2013

Mike Pecci will take you on a journey back and forth between still photography and filmmaking, blurring the lines enough to ask 'is that a still from a movie? or a movie packed into one single editorial frame?' Using a DSLR to create it all, Pecci is a Boston-based photographer, director, artist combing passion and talent in everything he does, whether for personal or corporate, documentary or grindhouse, it all shines and screams Pecci. 

READ MORE HERE 

- See more at: http://photonightsboston.com/blog/2013/mike-pecci-more-than-just-pictures/#sthash.gyMJMLvb.dpuf

 

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STOP & STARE GIFS

By Alice on My Modern Met

A few days after we wrote about Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg's gorgeous, cinematic gifs, we received an unexpected email. It was from Mike Pecci who said someone had shared our cinematic gifs link with him and that he was "in shock!" As he explains, "This was a theory I have been working on for a few years now, and 'Bam!' these guys are doing the same thing! Insane!" Rather than beating himself up about the fact that he didn't release his gifs first, Pecci was happy for Beck and Burg's success. "My friend asked me if I was sore about not breaking them first," he says, "and I said hell no man! It’s all about the photography!" (How can you not love that?)

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After about two years in development, Pecci just released his very own set of gifs he calls Living Images. "They are more than gifs," he tells us, "they are high definition images that can fill your screen and high concept poses and actions the really make you stop and stare. We are using all sorts of cutting-edge technology, and working hard with the new HTML5 testing a new technique that hasn’t been done yet. Really cool stuff." (We agree!)

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PODCULTURE REVIEW

A bunch of wonderfully awkward folks review the Grindhouse DVD

"Today’s flavor of Guilty Pleasure is Grindhouse. Glenn gives us a history of the genre and shares his new screener copy of Mike Pecci’s Grindhouse Shorts. Glenn enjoys the comic book style of the multiple-covered DVD.  Everyone loves the mood and style of the intro shot and opening menu of the DVD from this gritty photographer-turned-moviemaker. Glenn appreciates the composition and the artistry of this impressive presentation. Christina’s favorite part is the Mommentary, the commentary with his mom."

The clip is large might take a second to load 

 

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ART NOUVEAU - BOXED LYNCH

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Drawing for most artists is a warm up to a more elaborate work. For Dave Lynch it is his version of a highly realized end result. Dave has been drawing since he was a child and recently he set out to fill a blank sketch book with over 400 cartoons. This mini art film, shot and edited by Mike Pecci, gives insight into the man behind the sketches. Take a closer look  and find out about his work, and what some might call his therapy.

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THE AV CLUB - KSE DOC RELEASE

Watch a mini-documentary about the making of the new Killswitch Engage album            

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Massachusetts-based metal act Killswitch Engage has a new record on the horizon—Disarm The Descent, out April 2—and is offering fans an evil little glimpse at life inside the recording studio. Shot by directors McFarland And Pecci, New Awakening is a five-part, 30-minute documentary chronicling the making of the record. Featuring interviews, rehearsal and studio footage, and the return of original singer Jesse Leach, New Awakening aims to show fans what life in the studio is like, which is to say both musically enthralling and mentally exhausting.

READ MORE HERE 

 

 

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ADOBE CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT

By: Jennifer Kremer on Adobe.com

Twisted, dark and awesome. Three words that describe the work of the creative team and visual artists that make up McFarland & Pecci. Still relatively new Creative Cloud members, these fellas have wasted no time utilizing the broad range of tools and programs to create one-of-a-kind work. A documentary film for well-known “metal core” band, Killswitch Engage? They’ve done it. High concept cover art for the Boston Phoenix? Sure. See what we mean about twisted, dark and awesome?

We engaged in a lightning round Q&A session with them to get more details on why Creative Cloud works for them. The diverse amount of products offered, the seamless syncing, constant updates, and bug fixes are just a few reasons why this duo takes creativity to a whole new level.

Adobe: Describe a project you are currently working on or have completed with Creative Cloud.

Pecci: We signed up for Creative Cloud a few months ago and jumped right into a few projects with Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop. McFarland & Pecci is a creative team of directors and visual artists. We create everything from high concept photo shoots to feature films and documentaries. The past few months have kept us busy in post-production on the new Killswitch Engage documentary called “New Awakening”, the new music video for CZARFACE featuring Inspectah Deck from Wu-Tang, one of the final high concept covers for the Boston Phoenix, and an upcoming ”double secret” comic book film.

What was your inspiration behind the project?

We love to tell stories, and we tend to be drawn to darker subject matter and artists that are obsessed with their craft.  The film on Killswitch Engage was a fun project that allowed us to focus on the guys as a family unit and we kept our gear tight and our crew small. The CZARFACE video is deeply rooted in our love for Grindhouse flicks and Shaw Brothers films, and the ‘End of the World’ photo shoot was completely influenced by the epic magic of Michael Bay!

How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?

We switched to Premiere Pro to simplify our workflow. Plain and simple. We shot CZARFACE with the RED EPIC in 5K with Hawk anamorphic lenses.  The piece required a lot of compositing in After Effects and color grading. The fact that I could bring the raw files right into my timeline and directly export to After Effects made our lives so much easier. A competitor’s program has really dropped the ball when it comes to professional editing these days so we were looking for a smart move. Just the time saved by not having to transcode footage from the RED and/or DSLRs was enough of a reason to make the jump to Premiere Pro.

What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?

As mentioned earlier, all the new benefits of Premier Pro were our big draw in the video side of things, but the new version of Photoshop and its retouching tools and amazing smart layers really helped us composite these giant “End of the World” files. We have always been Adobe fans in one way or another, but having it all in one spot really helps us.  The cloud helps us keep both systems identical in our edit bays, and the constant updates have fixed a lot of software bugs already.

Describe your style of work in three words

Really F$#Kin Awesome!

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t create without _________.

Our twisted minds and the tools that can keep up with them.

What advice would you give to an individual who is considering Creative Cloud?

If you are a video editor, make the jump to Premier Pro.  Just do it. Creative Cloud is the smart choice; you sign up and download everything you need. It even runs on two systems. Makes having a post house a lot easier.

 

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VIDEO STATIC WATCH IT - RETROSPECTS

To every rap fan who dreams of living the gangster life: It's probably much more like what you see in this gritty, violent and insane 7L & Esoteric video than the flossy depiction usually found in music videos.  It's a similar vibe to photographer Ross McDonnell's Joyrider series —  which apparently inspired the visuals here — but with a twist that has the Boston rapper Esoteric abducted by a Russian crew that's not afraid to get as depraved as they wanna be.  --> watch "Retrospects"

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Revolver Magazine Interview

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The soon-to-be-released video for Fear Factory’s  “Fear Campaign,” off this year’s Mechanize (Candlelight), lives up to the song title: Cops pushing dogs into a helpless man’s face, the band’s frontman being strangled, a creepy interrogation room. The men behind such atrocities, video directors Ian McFarland—who owns the Boston-based Killswitch Productions and has directed clips for God Forbid, Meshuggah, and Agnostic Front—and Mike Pecci fill us in on how they made the band more fearful than ever.

Read it all here:

http://www.revolvermag.com/uncategorized/web-exclusive-interview-the-directors-behind-fear-factorys-fear-campaign-vi.html

REVOLVER How did the concept for the video come about? How involved was the band in that?

IAN McFARLAND Mike and I met Burton back in 2007, when he was on tour with Ministry and Meshuggah. We talked for quite a bit and from that point on every once in a while… One day, out of the blue, I got an email from Burton telling me that Dino along with Byron Stroud and Gene Hoglan were in the lineup, and that they had just recorded a new album and that they wanted to work with Mike and me on a music video for it. I can’t tell you how excited we were to get that email.

MIKE PECCI  Burton is an extremely creative person, and he had some very specific visuals in mind. He said that he wanted to bombard the audience with rapid images that supported his lyrics.

McFARLAND Our goal was to make a video that was inspired by all those really cool stock footage ’90s music videos, but rather than using stock footage of the atrocities of the world, we decided to shrink those things down to single images and objects that can be identified as the tools used to create those problems. Essentially we wanted to make an ad campaign for fear. One of the other things that Burton really wanted was to figure out a way for him to play a role in the video. He wanted to play a character that represented some sort of authoritative entity and would represent the word fear to the fullest. That’s where the cop/priest character came into play.

PECCI Both Ian and I agreed on one thing right from the start, no stock footage!   It’s cliché. With my photography background, and our relationship with photographer Heather McGrath, I proposed that we take all original photos, and instead of shooting big, we should break down each issue addressed in the song down to one object that would be shot on a stark color. We spent a lot of time researching symbols and objects that would best represent each lyric or idea… The best part of working with Fear Factory is that they wanted to look original, fresh, and new. They said that they were willing to put themselves out there to make this thing that much better. We decided that we wanted to use vibrant primary colors—yellow, blue, and red—and that the video be lit with strong and revealing light.

 

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DESIGN FESTIVAL- PHOTO RETOUCHING

If you don’t know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish within a photograph, you could spend many hours in Photoshop trying filters, masks, adjustment layers, and other tools, and you could still end up with no improvements. In fact, you might even end up with a lesser image than you started with. Photo retouching is a very subtle craft that requires not only Photoshop expertise, but also a more general attention to detail and an eye for color and contrast.

In part 1 of “Photo Retouching and Color Grading,” Mike Pecci of McFarland & Pecci

shows several techniques (as well as his thought process) during the retouching on one of these photographs. He uses the healing tool and the blending of layers to add some subtle improvements to his carefully composed image. Rather than polishing away all of the human imperfections of the model, Mike uses methods that preserve the authenticity of the image while making careful augmentations to color, contrast, and tone.

 

 

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Mike Pecci’s Grindhouse Schooling

Posted by Ron Egatz on SEKONIC BLOG (Read it here)

Boston photographer and filmmaker Mike Pecci has never left his hometown for long. Aside from a stint at film school in New York, Pecci has remained in Boston, a testament to the independent spirit of the arts in that town.

Although he likes to work in Los Angeles and New York, he won’t be relocating his home base and studio in Boston any time soon. “I like being around people who are filmmakers because you’re actually hanging out with real folks, hearing real stories, and being inspired by real life. It’s a good city,” he says.

Drawn to illustration and movies as a child, Pecci was diligent in his research to help aid his artistic career goals. At a community college, he discovered the world of production design, seeing it from a crafts standpoint, and not completely from a storyteller’s viewpoint. He decided this was what he wanted to do, “because it takes all the elements of everything I love—music, illustration, and all that—and puts it all together in one big package,” he says. It was at that moment he wanted to be a filmmaker.

A discussion with his guidance counselor and a little research made the economic realities and timeline of getting a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking unrealistic. Pecci didn’t want to wait three years before he could touch a camera. “I was looking for a school you can go to that would allow me to direct,” he recalls. “A lot of different schools would pick a student from the class, and he’s the director, and you can be spending the same amount of money for tuition and be a friggin’ boom operator while your classmate was learning how to direct. The one I found—they were very new at the time—was the New York Film Academy.”

Trained to be a director and filmmaker in school, upon returning to Boston, he was unable to afford the type of director of photography he wanted on his own productions. This forced him to teach himself camera technology, composition, and how to tell stories with both. “Part of that process was me doing it both on video and with stills because stills were a lot more affordable,” Pecci says. In this way he was able to work on framing, color, and lighting compositions. Simultaneously, he spawned two different aspects to his career in tandem, stills and motion.

Calling himself “obssessed” with his art, Pecci was all-in at the age of 22. Spending every moment either shooting stills, developing concepts, writing treatments, or creating short films, Pecci didn’t let up. His shorts gave him the opportunity to practice cinematography, editing, and storytelling.

Eventually partnering with Ian McFarland, they got into the music video business, and found an agent in Los Angeles. Creating videos for bands like Meshuggah and Fear Factory, he found his dark visual style lent itself to heavy metal clientele. The Mesuggah video for “Bleed“ was one of their most popular videos, hitting over 8 million views on YouTube. It was voted one of the top metal videos of 2010 by MTV. Their video for Vera Cruz’s “The Game” was shot on a RED ONE and is the duo’s first fully-composited effort.

As a child, Pecci wanted to become a comic book artist. His love of the medium never waned. “If you look at a lot of my photography—my poses and my stances—you can see the influence of a lot of different comic artists,” he says. His love for this genre in both print and film has put many of his own productions under the umbrella of grindhouse movies.

The McFarland and Pecci company works with corporate clients when not creating their own films. Creating mini-documentaries and commercials, they often hear their clients say things like, “We never knew you could shoot an interview like that.” This is because their vision remains consistent across projects, and clients can expect corporate work which isn’t cookie cutter-like. You can see a selection of their video work on Vimeo.

Along with the grindhouse genre, Pecci has distinguished himself in the short documentary field. He’s allowed the Sekonic blog to premier the trailer for the new McFarland and Pecci minidoc on musician T.J. Horn entitled Controlled by Rhythm. Pecci brings moody composition, framing, and high production skills to individuals he finds interesting. Some may find them disturbing. We find these films compelling.

Documentaries are not immune from the Pecci way of shooting something in an unorthodox fashion. He completed Push: Madison Versus Madison, a compelling feature documentary about an inner city high school basketball team from Roxbury, Massachusetts. Pecci laid down ground rules before accepting the job, declaring he wasn’t a sports enthusiast, and just being in the gymnasium wasn’t going to excite him. He explained, “If I’m going to do this, I want to do it in a visually interesting way. I want to do it in a new way.”

Instead of having multiple cameras, Pecci just used one. He put lav microphones on all the main subjects in the gym. All those mics transmitted to his earpiece so he could hear what everyone was saying, even on the other side of the gym. “At low points, when there is nothing going on, I would be running around getting B-roll footage. I would have a camera with a zoom lens, and I would hear someone say something poignant and immediately just stand up wherever I was from across the gym and zoom snap-in on that person to get coverage of them saying that stuff,” he explains. “It added this energy to the piece.”

Pecci also filmed the interview segments differently. Instead of having each subject speaking alone to the camera, he shot the players—who happen to be gang members—in a park, with their fellow gang members around them. “The whole piece has a sort of new feel and vibe to it,” he says. “After we did that, the corporate people called and asked for it.”

Not only did corporate clients come to request similar work, but the critics gave strong reviews to the documentary, referring to it as Hoop Dreams gone wrong.”

Always envisioning new ways to push technology, Pecci had an idea for a different kind of moving photograph some time ago. His version is now ready for prime time and called Living Images. “It was a technique I had an idea to do years ago, but the technology wasn’t ready for it,” he says. “Recently in 2011 we were able to make stuff work with the use of HTML5. For me, it’s blending both the skills of being a photographer and cinematographer into one thing, then trying to make pictures that are breathing.” Living Images are nothing short of a comic book panel come to life.

Pecci recently deployed his Living Image process on a nursing school Web site, The Boston Phoenix, and other clients. It involves several considerable technological issues, including avoiding Flash, making the animation of one or more humans loop seamlessly without a noticeable edit, and a small file size so it will download reasonably quickly. The artistic or more human issues are how to film a model or actor execute an action which can be seamlessly looped, yet is dynamic without being trivial. Pecci calls it “the perfect blend of both worlds.”

Regarding gear, Pecci says, “As far as equipment is concerned, I use what works for what the situation calls for.” For stills, he originally shot Canon, because his mother had an old AE-1. When Canon was initially lacking in their digital offerings, Pecci went with a Nikon D100. Still steeped deeply in cutting-edge digital technology, he primarily shoots Nikon, and has done many music videos with Nikon cameras. When they are not given a budget to use RED gear, Nikon fills the gap nicely for his production team. “The Nikon stuff actually has more capacity, the cards don’t overheat, the body doesn’t overheat,” Pecci says. “You can deal with audio better with it than you can with Canon.”

For metering, Pecci is currently using a Sekonic L-308DC DigiCineMate. “I use it and I try to get people I work with to use meters all the time,” he says. “Half the time the video monitors are wrong. Just because you can preview stuff right away doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s faster.”

Mike Pecci taking a reading with his Sekonic L-308DC.

Always relying on his meter when shooting stills, he also uses it in filming when a scene is being rigged. “You walk around to see where everything is falling,” he says. “We use it a lot for calculations on slow motion shots and that kind of stuff.”

Having wrapped twelve short films in as many years, Pecci now has two features written, with one feature in preproduction at this time. Filming is scheduled to begin in April. Whether shooting corporate client work, or his own projects, Pecci continues both learning and doing things his own way. Stills or motion, this artist brings his unique vision to each project. Watching where his career goes next is like a good comic book. Expect the unexpected, and be ready for something you’ve never seen before.

 

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HDSLR Artist Spotlight – Mike Pecci

I first became aware of Mike Pecci when we worked together on the music video for As I Lay Dying’s “Anodyne Sea.” Mike and Ian McFarland were co-directing the video for the metal band, and what struck me was their commitment to their craft, and their unwavering dedication to their ideals. In the video, the band takes a stand on free speech and pay the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the video when they’re murdered by the local warlords. Not many directors would have the courage to murder their artists on screen, but McFarland & Pecci pulled it off in grand style.

In addition to being a music video director, Pecci is a brilliant photographer who has invented a new way of delivering visuals online that he calls Living Images. Living Images are a hybrid of a still image and video, and uses a secret formula of the latest web technologies to deliver the characters in a suspended animation. The technology (which Pecci personally developed) coupled with Pecci’s talent for creating truly high-concept photography makes the Living Images a stunning and truly unique experiential web-deliverable.

Via Pecci “Water streams down the hardened face of a rock god, snow lightly drifts behind a gleaming product, a skateboarder is frozen doing a hand plant but his wheels are still spinning.  Moments captured in more than a photograph.  Moments captured in a Living Image.

Creating a Living Image requires a special type of shooting discipline and the use of cutting edge color grading, compositing, and encoding skills to create a seamless moment.   The Image is then delivered in either a standard or high definition image that has been sized for quality and loading time.  The average high definition is about the same size as a full resolution photograph, and each image can be easily intergraded into you existing web design.  This way you are giving the view of exciting content without the loading time of flash.”

Pecci’s Living Images are compelling enough that, in my mind, they thrust him to the forefront of creative commercial photographers in the twenty first century. But, as Steve Jobs is famous for saying, “There’s just one more thing.”

That “one more thing” is Pecci’s Grindhouse Shorts DVDs. Pecci has an affection for ’70s grindhouse films and has created a series of short films featuring women in highly charged (and very sexy roles) as both the heroine and the antagonist. I sat down with a glass of Oban and enjoyed all three of the Grindhouse films one evening. They’re definitely worth a watch, but definitely not for the kids! The DVDs are well executed, with tons of easter eggs. The highlight are the “Mom-entaries”, as Pecci does a director’s commentary with his mother. Brilliant!

I was lucky enough to interview Pecci about his work when I passed through Boston this summer. Take some time and explore his website. You will not be disappointed. And if you’re wondering who the next David Fincher is … wonder no more.

 

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Grindhouse a Go Go - Mike Pecci

    Published: 17 October, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 204, October, 2011 

   

Mike Pecci is a man with an eye for the chainsaw wielding ladies. Knowing him as I do now, that’s probably a little basic, as he has a pretty mean eye for anything that will make a great photograph – and if it’s tattooed, so much the better. With his latest project taking shape, what better time could there be to clash heads with this creative powerhouse?

I kind of feel like somebody else might have felt a long time ago when they were shown My Best Friend’s Birthday – the little known movie that Tarantino made before he went on to unleash Reservoir Dogs. The feeling pretty much comes down to something like ‘I’m in the presence of something special here, something on the edge of breaking through…’

Which is hardly surprising given the subject matter Mike Pecci chooses to play with really. Watching his highly stylised work and – especially at this stage of his career – being aware of how much he takes care of all the other ‘little things’, you can see something special really begin to happen.

Are great film-makers born with a silver spoon, or are they made out of solid hard graft? Should you go to college or should you get the hell on with it?

“Growing up I had all sorts of jobs ranging from a baker to airplane mechanic. I used to consistently work in music stores and fell in love with music and how it affected people, so I decided to go to school for radio. I learned quickly that it was a shitty job with no room for creativity so I randomly took a film studies class. It blew my mind. 

“Suddenly I was aware of the camera. Aware that someone had to design everything on that screen. I raced to see my class councilor and told him to switch my major and put a camera in my hands. He explained that I still needed to take all of the other college required courses first, and in a year or two I could finally start using a camera.

“I did the math and realised how in debt I was gonna be while taking courses that didn’t suit me, so I told the school to shove it, went and got a job at a TV station, saved up cash, and took an intense film course in NYC. I learned how to produce films, shot about four shorts, and directed one. I came back to Boston, started my first company and went to work and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

And this is the kind of story that makes a mans heart sing. ‘Shock-tactics’ aside, Mike makes movies about people with character and depth. Always aware of the multitude of sides a human psyche has, he seems to pull these things out of nowhere to illustrate his movies – or am I reading too much into it? Is it more of a gut-reaction?

“I set out to make the sort of stuff I would want to watch. Luckily I have a taste that aligns with the audience – thank God. I like to tell stories about the dark side of people. Everyone has done something that falls outside of the public norm. I love sitting down and drinking with someone for the first time and cutting through all that bullshit chatter about what’s your favorite music, blah, blah, blah, and get to the real life stories. You were arrested for what? You have slept with a prostitute, really? You ate your kids candy bar and blamed it on the dog?!  These stories add character and give you something to walk away with.

“I also love genre films; noir, cop movies, western heroes. The trick is to take those character stories and put them in a genre that you want to play with. You can expect to see a lot of this from me as I jump into longer formats.”

Mike originally got himself on my radar when I saw some of the ‘tattooed’ stills from his latest Grindhouse short film compilation. Is this inked-up inclusion a calculated move?

“Well, I became fascinated with tattooed women when I first visited the Suicide Girls website years ago. Growing up, I was obsessed with comic books, and trained to be a comic book artist for a while. I wanted to create these beautiful women I fell in love with as a child. I used to spend hours just studying sketch lines, poses, and the posture of these characters. 

“When I photograph women with sleeves and process them through photoshop the image feels a lot like those comic book sketches. Random bits of vibrant colour, shading that emerges from shadow. I feel like I’m bringing these women from my fantasies to life. I hope that doesn’t sound too creepy! So since I had started doing photo sets for SG, it was a simple transition to bring those girls into my films.”

During 2010/2009, Mike shot a lot of music video too. Is that a conscious decision to push the business in other directions?

“At one point in my career, I crossed paths with director and musician Ian McFarland. He was a big fan of my photography and I was impressed with the videos he had directed. We hit it off immediately. We are both firm believers in the “do it yourself” mentality and he asked if I would shoot some music videos that he would be directing. Two videos later we realized that we were co-directing so we formed McFarland & Pecci and tackled the music world. 

“Music videos can be a lot of fun. They allow us to test out techniques and sometimes tell short stories that reach a huge audience. For the next year or so we were just busting our asses with it here in Boston shooting for bands that Ian knew from the road and we somehow got Meshuggah and Fear Factory on board! Both those videos ended up on Headbangers Ball’s top 25 videos of the year list for 2009 and 2010. Then the agents started calling and so did the bigger acts…

“Ozzy, Devo, The Deftones, we have been writing treatments now for some of our favorite acts ever since. The problem with music videos is that the death of the music industry (as we knew it) is putting a cap on what we can do creatively because of budgets and business politics. So we are not expecting much from it these days. We find ourselves working for acts we love or friends now because it’s just a lot more fun. McFarland & Pecci is also changing. The brand is now becoming a creative house where we develop films, series, and content. Both of us are now repped as individual directors and on certain projects, we team up! The goal is to be creating edgy and beautiful content through our brand.”

To be frank, as we all sit here in 2011, this is how the future is shaping up for all of us. You can’t simply be a specialist in one area anymore and expect somebody to come along with a ton of cash and float you for the rest of your life. It doesn’t work like that anymore. To succeed you need to use every medium at your disposal.

“Absolutely. The web has made my career. I started doing photo shoots for Suicide Girls and my photography reached thousands of people on each release. I have been able to promote my films and sell directly to my fans all over the world. Our music video for Meshuggah has over seven million hits on YouTube and I now have a solid fan-base because of the internet.  That fan-base has helped start my conversations with some of the ‘big guns’. It’s awesome!

“I strongly believe in self promotion.  People don’t know what you are doing until you tell them. If I sat around waiting for you to call me, it would never have happened. Having direct contact with editors is key, creating those relationships, and staying loyal is big for me. You need to do what it takes. There’s a period early on in my career when it looked as though I wasn’t even on the planet. This is kind of between 2001 and 2005. What I was actually doing was four years of heavy experimentation. I was shooting and publishing photos, I was shooting my short films Flight and The Subway Stalker. I suddenly had a career as a cinematographer and found myself working on documentaries, and other friends’ shorts. It was a great learning period for me. I learned a lot of the skills that I fall back on during that time.”

I see a lot of fine pop-culture references in Mike’s films pulling in everything from Hitchcock to Sin City. do these influences seep into your work or they are persistently used because they work and provide a peg on which to hang the proverbial hat?

“In that film course I did, we made silent black and white movies. I was obsessed with Hitchcock’s suspense and spent a lot of time studying it, and of course, comics influence my work. When you look at my frames and look at the artwork of Jim Lee, well it makes a lot of sense. I like to follow directors. Fincher, Scott, Peckinpah, Spielberg, and other masters of the visual medium. They inspire me constantly with their camera moves, music choices, and characters. I love watching films, and I love watching an audience watch a film. It’s a beautiful personal moment that you get to have in public when you are in a theatre. It’s a lot of fun to see people reacting at the same time.”

Talking of self promotion and people doing things for themselves and making it happen regardless of circumstances, let’s take a look at some of the cover art for Grindhouse Shorts.

“I hunted each of them down specifically. I have been a member of deviantart.com for about nine years now. The coolest part of that site is that it gives you direct access to the artist. I also found a lot of my favorite comics artists on there and talk with them often.

“But for the covers, what happened was that I wrote notes to all of the illustrators I loved and asked them to do covers for me. Yasmine I have worked with before. She did a cover for my original Cold Hard Cash release. I love the way she draws and, she has this way of creating action and attitude that gets me excited! I saw CK’s movie poster work and his work with the old horror film vibe and thought he would be perfect! I love illustrated posters and variant covers. I think I am the eternal comic book kid!”

If you’re in the mood for following up on this part of the story, you can read more about the covers here at mikepecci.com/news/?p=122. So what’s next for somebody who has certainly put in the hours and paid his dues? Is there a big plan – a plan to step it up a gear and get more into the mainstream?

“I’ve been doing my thing now for over ten years. I have been learning how to shoot, how to edit, and how to tell a story. That takes time and practice. You read these stories about the overnight success. It’s bullshit. It seems like they are overnight because they aren’t being sold to the masses yet. I just keep pushing forward, aiming for bigger and better projects. I have two feature scripts ready to go, one hopefully goes into production this spring.

“I am excited to make the jump into the long format. I know I have the skills needed at this point and I’m interested in all the shit I will learn doing it at a bigger scale. There are all sorts of details that most people don’t think about. Politics, mastering the art of delegation and staying creative under stress (Tell me about it. Ed.). That stuff drives me, and that drive will put me in the bigger playing field. Very soon actually.

“I hope Skin Deep readers are really interested in checking out my movies. You can check out my website www.mikepecci.com for links to my short films and to check out my photography. I’ve created this new technique called ‘Living Images’; they are photographs that are alive. Really cutting edge stuff.

“You can buy a Grindhouse DVD here: mikepecci.com/news/?page_id=8. I ship them out of my office and often sign them for people who contact me on Facebook or twitter. We are also selling hoodies that have the beautiful art from Yasmine plastered all over them. High quality brand, shit too that I would want to wear. Alternatively, you can check out my work with Ian and our music videos at mcfarlandandpecci.com. Be on the lookout for news about that feature coming soon. It’s going to be awesome and absolutely brutal to watch. Oh and yes there is a strong female lead!
“Finally, write to me, I love hearing from fans. Use the internet to get in touch. I do it!”

You heard the man...

 
   

 

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PECCI AT WORK

by Loren King Boston Globe

Framingham native and Boston resident Mike Pecci directed the short film "Autumn" as part of the recent "48 Hour Film Project," in which teams were required to shoot and edit a 10-minute film within 48 hours. At a Nov. 21 reception and screening for the films, "Autumn" earned the audience award as well as honors for acting, sound design, and visual effects.

The film stars Garth Donovan and Pete Giovine and was shot in Chinatown, at the Ritz-Carlton, and at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill. Pecci and his team -- producers Louis Scheel and Amy Loeber, editor Benjamin Oliver, and sound designer David Schwartz -- have polished the short film and are readying it for submission to film festivals. Pecci's first short, "Torpor," played the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival in 2002.

 

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