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News & Insight

Batman Evolution Album Art Photo Shoot: On Set With The Piano Guys

By Hanssie on October 30th 2014

Tell me how you really feel about Ben Affleck taking on the role of the next Batman. Adam West (one of the first actors to portray Batman) supports it, but he also had Robin as a sidekick, sooo…

Admittedly, there have been some dubious choices that filled the alter ego of billionaire Bruce Wayne, but Christian Bale pretty much redefined the image of the Caped Crusader in the Dark Knight trilogy in 2008 and was my absolute favorite Batman of all time. But I digress.

Throughout Batman’s history, there have been seven actors who’ve played Batman and there has been three different Batmobiles, each having a life of its own. Now the sleek and iconic vehicles are being immortalized in a music video for The Piano Guys. The group found fame via YouTube where they post quality videos of their renditions of popular songs played on piano and cello. In their most recent cover, the group composed a mashup of the Batman theme music from the last 50 years, titled ‘Batman Evolution.”

Josh Rossi, a commercial and advertising photographer was commissioned to do a photo shoot with all three bat mobiles in conjunction with the shooting of a music video for the group.Rooftop After

Challenges to Overcome

A photo shoot of this caliber presents many challenges that you might not come across for a “typical” shoot. The cars were not only massive, but Josh was going in blind – he didn’t know what the background scenes were going to look like. Not only that, the talent was in a rush as they were shooting the music video simultaneously and he was under a deadline. No big deal, right?

Josh says of the experience, “As artists we are good at creating something amazing out of nothing. When you get something amazing already in front of you sometimes it gets overwhelming because of all the possibilities. I sat down and had to calm my mind which was running at 100 mph with ideas…”

Day 1: Tumbler At The Capitol

Immediately, Josh went to work shooting background plates with the available light and a simple light setup. When the talent arrived, they required an entirely different light setup. When those were captured, Josh worked furiously to edit the images to create album art by the end of the day to hit deadline.





Day 2: 1989 Batmobile

Day two centered around shooting the 1989 Batmobile in an old warehouse. Fittingly, the warehouse was full of thousands of bats. Working around bats, dust and bat droppings, things were going well until the drone used to shoot the music video was brought in, stirred the bats, dust and poo everywhere.

At that point I think we all feared for our lives but luckily no one got sick.

1980 batman Pieces Batman 19803

Batman 1980 Cello Before

Batman 1980 Cello Before

Batman 1980 Cello After

Batman 1980 Cello After

Day 3: 1960’s Batmobile and Rooftop

On the third and final day of shooting, the team shot the 1960’s Batmobile in a replica warehouse from the Batman TV show from that era. Lighting the scene was difficult due to the fact that the lighting also needed to replicate the look of the 60’s show.

Batcave - Pieces

Batcave – Pieces

Bat Cave Before

Bat Cave Before

Bat Cave After

Bat Cave After

When it was time to shoot the final scene on the rooftop, everyone was exhausted. After  three days of whirlwind  shooting, they ended up having to create their own lighting as the video team was late and it was completely dark at 10pm. The camera was put on a tripod and different parts of the cars and background were individually lit with a strobe and a soft box. About 15-20 images were created and stitched together in Photoshop.

Rooftop - Pieces

Rooftop – Pieces

Rooftop - Before

Rooftop – Before

Rooftop - After

Rooftop – After

Watch the Behind the Scenes Video of The Photo Shoot

You can see more images on Josh Rossi’s Behance site and see more of his work on his website and on Instagram.

Watch the Batman Evolution Video By The Piano Guys

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dre Rolle

    Merci mon ami, I love seeing how these shoots are broken down. I can add this to the list of why batman’s better than superman, my girlfriend will hate me but she’s on the wrong team.

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  2. Konrad Sarnowski

    And their “O Fortuna” with race engines sound just awesome – check it out ;)

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  3. John Sheehan

    I love learning about how these types of shoots are put together. Batman has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid watching reruns of the show on my parent’s black and white TV in the 1970s.

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  4. Ralph Hightower

    Nailed it! I thought the third transition was smoother. Julie Newmar as CatWoman is my favorite villain!

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  5. Duc Hong

    “Piano guys” is awesome, I’ve watched them playing for years and all of their covers are absolutely beautiful. A lot of works and hours put in and great result paid off in the end.

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  6. Pye

    Fantastic article and shoot. Love it!

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  7. Kenneth Hoegh

    “Day 1: 1980 Batmobile”

    The Tumbler is a Batmobile from the 1980?
    Ehhhh… :)

    Otherwise mad crazy about how exact they hit the look of the old 1960 show with the set and all!

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  8. Greg Silver

    Love the post-production. Always amazed at what one can do with an regular photograph.

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