Bazooka crafts video from archival materials celebrating Symphony’s 100th anniversary

A video celebrating the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary was created by Swell’s Bazooka graphics division entirely from archival materials, via agency Ebel Signorelli Welke. ESW creatives Gerry Miller and Chris Hayano came up with the concept for the video.

“Our purpose was to communicate the story of the generations of people who have brought this architectural jewel to life,” said Elizabeth Hurley, CSO VP/development. “Orchestra Hall is a lasting legacy and an integral part of Chicago.”

The video was previewed Oct. 29 and is on view at Symphony Center.

The video starts with a graphical “construction” of the fa?ade of Orchestra Hall in 1904 and then takes the viewer on a virtual tour of the 100 years of its great performances, conductors, artists and events.

All photos and content were kept in mpeg format, allowing the five-person Bazooka team to shuffle information between G5s, animating in After Effects and cutting in Final Cut Pro HD. The mix was done with Pro Tools.

Before the designers could start shaping the visuals, Joel Raney from Catfish Music was brought in for musical direction.

“The choice of music was both fun and difficult at the same time,” Raney said. “How do you select from 100 years of world class performances to convey the emotion we wanted to elicit in just a few moments?”

Raney prepared several edited options, seamlessly blended medleys incorporating some of the most notable and indicative pieces in the Orchestra’s history. The final choice was Gershwin’s rich and energetic “Cuban Overture.” It had been originally recorded by the CSO in 1990, James Levine conducting,

Bazooka producer Paul Buranosky coordinated the project, which utilized nearly 400 photos, films, news clippings and recordings catalogued and prioritized for inclusion. Bazooka producer Paul Buranosky coordinated the project.

Said Bazooka CD Mike Czerniuk, “Every person interprets a piece of music in his or her own way. Because of the music, we were able to communicate this in a very personal way, which, in turn, produced some amazing visuals. Creative freedom and an evolving creative process were essential.”

“We wanted the visuals to dance with the music,” Czerniuk said. “The agency and CSO freely allowed us to experiment and try a variety of different techniques. Concepts bounded from one person to the next, all ending in the vision the CSO wanted to convey.”

Project management was Mary Lou Gorno, CSO trustee; Mary Ann Sochacki was the freelance producer. Bazooka is located in the NBC Tower; phone, 312/464-8000.