It’s been about six months since I moved to Oklahoma and started working at Old Hat. It feels like longer, but in the best way possible.
The one thing that I still am getting used to is how much closer to home (Plano, Texas) I am. I spent the last six years in Illinois, and because of athletics, I was only able to go back to Texas for the summers, Thanksgiving break, and a week or so during Winter break.
Now, I have the opportunity to go home whenever I can! It’s amazing! And, my parents can even make the drive up and come see me when they feel like it.
Tomorrow, we will be at SMU for a photo and video shoot for men’s and women’s basketball. I just happened to be home for the weekend already.
I would like to take this moment to thank the most awesomest boss ever. Yes, that is an official term. Thank you, Zac!
Since I was home already for the weekend, and we are coming back for Tuesday’s shoot, he let me stay home until then. As long as I have my computer, I can work. Because I am here before Dustin and Zac, I am even going to scout out our shoot locations before they arrive.
I am lucky that the schedule worked out so conveniently this time, and I am very thankful it did.
Ever wonder what's it's like to photograph an NBA dance team?
Last Wednesday I spent the evening photographing the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls, the dance team for the NBA's OKC Thunder. It's my 5th year photographing the team so I've got a pretty good handle on how the Thunder like things to be done. The process is remarkably the same every year, but I think this year was the smoothest shoot we've ever accomplished.
Just to show how glamorous such work can be, here's a quick timelapse of the hours leading up to the shoot, and a few hours in.
Eventually the battery ran out on the GoPro camera that was shooting the timelapse, but I think you get the idea. In all seriousness, once the girls arrive the shoot is extremely busy for the next several hours. They have a bunch of different stations to go to, ranging from interviews to photos to green screen work, and it's important to be quick and efficient to stay on schedule.
Myself and fellow Old Hatter Stevie setup in the lower level of Chesapeake Arena for the shoot. I usually like to get on location to setup a couple of hours early. You never know what kind of problems you can run into on a shoot, from power not being readily available to equipment malfunctions, to God knows what, but being there early allows you to find solutions.
Luckily, I'd shot at this exact location last year and I knew what to expect. Everything in the setup went smoothly and we had some time to kill before the girls arrived.
In the leadoff photo to this blog you can see the lighting setup, along with the overhead diagram just above. I used six lights for this shoot, a combination of Paul C. Buff's Alienbees, White Lightnings and Einsteins.
My key light(s) were a 220 cm parabolic umbrella directly behind me and straight-on to the girls. It provided the base exposure that I started to build the rest of my lights around. It's extremely large, contributing to a nice, soft lighting quality, but also silver on the inside and focusable so it has a bit of an edge as well. Since it's straight-on it's a relatively flat light but I knew I would be adding several other lights to add interest.
The girls were also keyed with a beauty dish boomed out directly overhead to focus a little more light on their faces and upper bodies.
I had two back/edge lights coming from both the right and left side behind the subject. These were gridded with a 40 degree gridspot to focus the light a bit more and control flare. These provided a nice highlight on the hair and edges of the subjects.
Finally, I had two lights directed at the backdrop shooting through white umbrellas to blow out the background. These were flagged with black foamcore to keep spill off of the girls.
I don't have any final photos to show unfortunately. You'll have to wait until the launch of the Thunder Girls new website in the coming months. Thanks for stopping by. More to come...
Do you want to see something special? Well check out the Mizzou Football Intro Video...Director's Cut!
From the desk of Deb:
"It was great working with Scott and his video crew at Mizzou. They had a clear vision in mind and we were able to bring an awesome idea to life. If you're ever wanting to have players read lines this is the video to watch. These former Mizzou guys nailed it!"
This video is amazing! I am in love and so are the Mizzou fans! Check out this post on the Mizzou fan website about how phenomenal it is!
When Scott left Texas Tech a few months ago, I was so sad to seem him leave, but it wasn't long after he was at Mizzou that I got the call about football. I love working with Scott and his whole video crew. They had an idea right from the start, and we knew we had to bring it to life. The footage that they provided us was amazing. It is so hard to capture current and former players on camera. Once the red light is blinking, everyone usually goes shy!!! Not at Mizzou! The players really made this video come together and want every fan to be apart of this team. I cannot say enough good things about Mizzou and Scott! They are off to a great start already this season, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
The Utah Football Intro video this year was inspired by the "Men of Steel". Football players working hard in the off season is the key to success! CHECK IT OUT!!
After working out a concept here in the office, Dustin and I headed to Utah to capture all the footage!
We had two stations set up in the Utah Football practice facility that consisted of video and still shots. We wanted to show the student-athletes as strong competitors. Dustin made sure the lighting was just right so every muscle was shown on the players! This was very popular!
The main focus of this video was to show the football players working hard in the off season, but we ended up capturing something special while we were there. The players emotions on gameday are very hard to replicate so we were surprised when the athletes brought their A game! One of the players even performed the entire Meili Cheer which the team takes part in before every game. You can hear the final scream at the end of the intro.
Utah brought the idea to the table and we were able to bring this to life. I love the way the intro turned out and I know it will bring them success this year on the field.
From the desk of Dustin:
"The Utah Athletics staff and student-athletes are constanly looking for new and innovative videos and marketing materials. Utah's ability to push themselves further each year has resulted in some really great collaborations with Old Hat's designers, editors, and entire staff. We're excited to let the world see what we've been working on."
It's the most wonderful time of year. It's the day we can finally share all the great Intro and Kickoff videos with the world. I'm really proud of our pre-production and post-production crews for all of their hard work at shoots and in the editing dungeon for hundreds of hours the last couple of months.
I'm starting my 5th year at Old Hat and we've come a long way from doing just two Football Intros. This first football weekend alone we did work for 10 different schools. Some schools needed both Take the Field and Kickoff Videos. Others needed crowd prompts, 3D Logos, shuffle games or player features. But most schools needed all of the above. We were busy little bees.
It can be pretty hectic and stressful at times, but what job isn't?! Speaking for myself, I like the challenge and the satisfaction of delivering all of these hundreds of gigabytes all across the nation. Today's blog will just be an overview of several of the Intros that made their debut last Saturday. There are a couple of videos that will need a little more explanation and behind-the-scenes stories. But that will have to wait for a later day...we still have a lot of football to play (I'm such a poet...).
My first blog at Old Hat Creative will slightly resemble something from Geoff's recent entries. (Or Zac's.) A little bit of everything. That is a phrase I've repeated many times the past few months when asked how I felt about the new job, the wedding or marriage. It's been a wild ride for me this summer. A quick recap - got engaged and got a job offer from Old Hat on Memorial Day weekend. Quit my job(s) in Missouri, packed up and moved to Oklahoma two weeks later. Found an apartment in Norman. Started at Old Hat in mid-June. Got married in early August. Moved my wife Andrea into the apartment. Attempted to fit my stuff, her stuff, and wedding stuff into the tiny apartment. Adjusted to married life after being single for a long time. All in all, lots of big changes for a guy who previously didn't like a lot of change. I had lived in Missouri my entire life, up until about 2 1/2 months ago. Saying goodbye to family and friends and everything familiar to me was and is hard. But it's also exciting at the same time to dive into these new chapters in my life.
Since this is Labor Day, I want to take a moment to acknowledge all the hard work that goes on here. From a newbie's perspective, it really is amazing to see the sheer amount of quality projects that come out of this place. Just watching college football this weekend, many times I would catch myself saying "they're one of our clients." In fact, there were several matchups where both teams were clients - Texas Tech at SMU, Rice at Texas A&M, Central Michigan at Michigan, UNC at South Carolina, etc. to name a few. Being a print guy, I see the great projects that our designers turn out. It's also great to get to view the awesome stuff from other departments, such as intro videos, websites or photography. There are lots of incredibly talented individuals I have the privilege of working alongside of here at Old Hat.
Random thoughts to close this one out: I participated in several fantasy football drafts this weekend. Fantasy sports and football specifically are a multi-billion industry. (Click image to see a larger version) Fantasy Football Real Money [INFOGRAPHIC] via H&R Block
(Side note: While we didn't produce this infographic, we can do them just as good or better for your school or business.)
Hi everyone, Dustin here again. I've been lucky enough to be out on the road again shooting videos for clients since my last blog. We recently returned from the University of Georgia where we were capuring content for Women's Basketball and Gymnastics.
(Above: Client Rep Hannah and myself In front of the famous Georgia arch at the end of Day 2 shooting.)
We had a great time working with our contact Jolie there in Georgia and the student-athletes were a really great group of ladies to shoot. I laughed more than I can remember listening to the women's gymnastics team answer some funny questions.
(Above: Two Georgia gymnastics student-athletes review their answers while Jolie and I look on.)
As much fun as it is to go on these shoots, once I'm back in the office it's time to let it go and move on to the next project. I'm currently prepping for our yearly shoot with the Oklahoma City Thunder's dance team, the Thunder Girls, taking place next week.
Once a year we get the opportunity to create the images that they use to promote themselves online and in their printed marketing materials throughout the season. You also never know where else these photos might end up...like China for example.
That's Thunder Girl Lateshia next to a photo I took about 10 months prior during the Thunder Girls media day. There's nothing like seeing a larger than life cut-out of one of your photos next to the actual person. I guess everything's bigger in China.
Can you feel it? Can you feel the optimism and anticipation that fans all over the country are feeling leading up to this weekend? No one has lost a game and everyone thinks or hopes his or her team will stay that way all season. That wont happen to most, a few teams… maybe. Possibly, none. But at this point in the year every one can be optimistic.
So while fans are figuring out what time to start tailgating, what the main course will be or what beer they want to drink this weekend, at Old Hat Creative, things are a bit different. This time of year we are crazy busy trying to finalize everything that needs to be done by kick off. Wait, not kick off, the day before or weeks before or at least when the team enters the field…
Check out what we will be doing this last week leading up to kickoff…
17 intro videos
25 Schedule cards
13 ticket designs
I wanted to end this with a line asking everyone to think about all that goes into these games for fans entertainment but I am not going to do that. In fact, I am going to do the opposite. Do not think about any of this stuff!
Old Hat Creative is here to amplify the sports experience, you just enjoy the game!
Okay so it's safe to say that popular meme has run its course. Good job everybody, we killed it. However, I had a feeling that title might work to catch your eye in an age when everybody and their dog is competing for your attention with the wisest of wisdoms to share with their fifties of followers. Lucky for you today my 4th anniversary with Old Hat is this week and I feel like I have some wisest of wisdoms to share with you regarding videos for the upcoming 2013-14 sports season.
Zac has created a culture in the office where if anybody says "No we can't do that" it better be followed up with a "but here's how we can solve the issue." It can be really annoying at first, because it's so easy to shoot down something and find all of its faults. You actually have to engage your brain to solve issues. I think it's a quality that makes Old Hat a unique and desirable company to work with and work for. He's got a whole legion of problem solvers at his disposal. This can be a handy weapon in your marketing arsenal if you're stuck in a pickle.
Here are three of the top Frequently Asked Video Questions/Issues ("FAVQ/I" if you will) that I've heard during my tenure whilst at the Hat.
Q/I: We don't have any highlights because all of our starters are new.
A: Like MJ says, "you are not alone" (great song, creepy creepy video). When you're working in athletics this is something everybody deals with at some point. Players graduate, go pro, leave the team, get traded, retire, etc. You might feel limited, but there are a few different routes to follow:
-Schedule an Old Hat shoot with your noobs practicing/working out. August two-a-days can provide some pretty unique footage. And from my experience, Strength & Conditioning coaches are a treasure trove of audio (Fear not. We can bleep out and edit around all of their creative words of encouragement).
-You can also go the green screen route and have a cool voice over script throughout telling the story of this new team.
-This could provide the perfect opportunity to introduce your new players to your fanbase. Hometowns, childhood photos and video give fans a glimpse into who these athletes really are and where they came from.
-Focus on your team's history or tradition over the years. Invite the legends back to campus. Or
gather up your old photos and videos.
Q/I: Hey Deb, not all of us have a big tradition to brag about. What then? WHAT? THEN?
A: That's a-okay! I know you'd like to have a rich history of winning (I know I'd like for the Minnesota Vikings to have seven championships) but your history is history. You can't change it (Unless you have a time machine). From a video perspective this frees you to try new ideas each year. Some of our most creative videos come from teams that don't have a championship pedigree.
-Focus on your current team. Remember, you can have 15-20 solid highlights from a season even if you don't make the post-season.
-Maybe your coach had a really good locker room speech and you have the footage.
-Utilize your city/campus for locations.
-Show off your game day atmosphere.
Q/I: We can't schedule our shoot now because our new uniforms won't arrive for another month.
A: This is another common issue for almost every team. We know a lot of you get worried about the short turnaround time from shoot to Game 1 that is created by waiting for those slick new jerseys to arrive. If you don't HAVE to shoot your players in their new jerseys you can get away with using warm-up uniforms, practice shirts or whatever team gear your players have. It is possible to have a cool video without the new uniforms.
There are several more questions/issues that we deal with on a daily basis here at OH HQ. We're like little creative firefighters putting out fires left and right (can you imagine Dustin with one of those hats??? Geoff, get on that one please). So no matter the issue you can be confident we will find the best solutions.