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Director Gregg Simon Creates Videos For KIDZ BOP DVD

Conceives and creates two videos for KIDZ BOP holiday DVD (December 15, 2005)

Director Gregg Simon and DP Michael Huss (at camera) on location in Riverside Park during the KIDZ BOP Sk8er Boi video.

Director Gregg Simon and DP Michael Huss (at camera) on location in Riverside Park during the KIDZ BOP Sk8er Boi video.

KIDZ BOP, the #1 childrens music brand, has won an appreciative vote of parental approval for its cool, safe, family-friendly, motivational concept -- popular songs sung by kids for kids. With sales of over 5 million CDs in the past 4 years, the KIDZ BOP brand recently expanded their horizons with the introduction of the premier DVD collection ?Kidz Bop: The Music Videos.

Searching for a creative and innovative director, Razor & Tie senior producer Aaron Brotherton, tapped the young Gregg Simon to create several videos on the DVD. Simon had been asked to develop concepts along with several other directors, and ultimately he was asked to direct 3 of the ten tracks on the DVD.

Simon, who was singled out by for their 2005 ?Music Video Directors On The Rise spotlight, conceived and wrote the videos within a weeks span and then got the green light from the label. Tagging veteran DP Michael Huss to do the photography, along with producer Michael Neithardt to pull it all together, the trio scouted, cast and shot the clips within a 2 week time frame. Released in November, the videos for ?Sk8er Boi, ?All Star and ?Breakaway are standouts on the premiere KIDZ BOP DVD release.

?Directing these KIDZ BOP videos was a terrific experience, Simon says. ?Working with kids is an adventure, because their natural enthusiasm doesnt always translate to on-camera skills. We were incredibly fortunate to find young actors who were also musicians and who had the ability to bring pure joy and believability to their performances. The music selected for these videos was a perfect fit for the cast, and the locations we selected, a skateboard park on Riverside Drive, a basketball court on Spring Street in NYs Greenwich Village and the legendary Chung King Recording Studios in Tribeca, provided ideal settings for our storylines.

Shooting ?Sk8er Boi and ?All Star with three Panasonic DVX 100A digital cameras, and ?Breakaway with a single Canon XL2, Simon credits DP Michael Huss with capturing footage that reflected both the casts energy and musics lyricism. ?We wanted to give the kids a taste of an MTV-caliber video, but with the sensibility appropriate for the age group. And at the same time it was also important not to talk down to them, not to minimize them. In that respect, I regard kids as short adults. Were presenting positive role models as well as pure entertainment, said Simon.

The 3 videos each had a different texture to the story line and Huss and Simon devised a different look to satisfy the needs of each. The 100As were used for both ?Sk8er Boi and ?All Star and both of those videos have a vibrant feel and energy to them. The XL2, with the P+S Technik Mini 35 Adaptor, was used on ?Breakaway, with the 35mm lenses helping to create a more lyrical and intimate piece.

Simon worked with Chickonkey (NY) editor Kevin Haleran on ?Sk8er Boi and ?All Star and with 3 Fingered Louie editor Maurice Abbate to hone ?Breakaway to its sharpest edge.

Not yet thirty, Gregg Simon has been selected by SHOOT Magazine for The Next Generation: New Directors Showcase, and has built a formidably eclectic reel with short films, music videos, commercials, and promos. His award-winning short film ?The Final Resolution screened at the Hollywood Film Festival in October, and earned him a slot as a finalist in the Project Greenlight Directors Competition.

Gregg Simon also won a favorable review from film critic Rex Reed for ?Hot Under The Collar, a short film he directed for Spike TVs pilot episode of ?60 Second Cinema. The new reality series challenges a filmmaker to write, cast, shoot, edit and score a short film within a period of 24 hours and with a budget of a mere $1000.

Simon has directed videos and promos for recording artists including JAdore (PCMG/5050 Music Group), Moth (Virgin Records), The Saucers (Exotic Records), and Northern State (Columbia Records). His commercial credits include spots for Discovery Channel, DTC (DeBeers), and Optimum Lightpath, which is currently airing nationally.

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