These are the final words in Martin Scorsese's film The Aviator, a biopic about Howard Hughes. Hughes was one of the world's great innovators in the first half of the 20th century. It's a pretty fascinating film that captures one man's absolute creativity and drive to push the limits. There's also his fall into madness, but that's for a completely different blog post written by somebody a little mad (looking at you, Kevin). Right now it's all about the creativity and pushing of said limits.
In the sports video world the way of the future is MOTION GRAPHICS...actually it's more like the way of the present. It's my belief that motion graphics and design effects separate today's Intros/Commercials from those of 10+ years ago. Okay I may be coming off as Captain Obvious, but if you look at 50-60% of videos being professionally produced in the sports landscape there are still those who are perfectly comfortable with putting highlight clips in a timeline and timing it with music. That's all fine and dandy, but when your Intro looks like something 14-year-old Joe Fan Jr. created and posted on YouTube you're probably paying too much for that video.
This is where Old Hat Creative Productions enters the picture. Our artists are not only very talented video editors, BUT they're also highly skilled and trained motion graphic designers. That's a skill that isn't fully developed in a lot of in-house studios. And spending $40K a year on somebody who fakes the knowledge could be trouble in the long term.
Here at OH the Deb and Stevie Show are more of the crazy faces and hard core sports fans of Productions, we handle a lot of the management and preproduction work. The rest of the team is in the cool, dark basement with the mole peopleand are probably listening to Hanson right now. These folks are able to crank out multiple high quality projects each week and they continuosly amaze me. Hugs to all of you!
Our people power (aka man power) can also be a real asset to in-house video crews. We work with some incredible videographers and editors, but the amount of projects on their plate can be pretty daunting especially when football, volleyball and soccer are still in season and hockey, basketball and gymnastics are starting to ramp up. We're here to share the load. We recently got two new basketball clients who have talented in-house video crews and those guys have sent us top notch highlights, green screen and atmosphere clips. High quality assets + high quality postproduction = a beautiful thing.
So what it all comes down to is entertaining and informing your fans in a world where their standards for video production are pretty high. You have to place some value in production because it's the WAY OF THE FUTURE.
Good day everybody! This past week/weekend, Bethany, Dustin and I had the pleasure of going up to the University of Utah to shoot Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Women's Gymnastics. Yeah, it was a busy trip. But also very enjoyable!
We flew into Salt Lake City last Wednesday where we got to meet up with Luke! His beard has gotten HUGE, in case you were wondering. We all went out to eat in Park City with the amazing Zac of Utah Athletics, who was gracious enough to lend us Norman-folk some jackets. We weren't quite prepared for those evening temperatures in the 40s up in the beautiful mountain town. THANKS AGAIN, ZAC!
Thursday, Luke left us, because apparently being in your friend's wedding is kinda important or something. Whatever, Luke. The rest of us got to work with Grant for the Men's Basketball shoot which went amazingly smooth. Even with some recreation class coming into the gym as we were setting up. Classes? On a college campus? What is that? Pfft. Anyway, I have never felt so short in my entire life. These basketball guys were ducking to go through doorways. I think almost all of them were easily a foot or more taller than me. Basically, what I'm saying is... I now believe in giants. (This may or may not be related to the fact that I've been marathoning Once Upon a Time on Netflix.) Also, Thursday night we went out to dinner with the lovely people of Utah Athletics and had some BOMB pizza. I feel like I always talk about food when we go on trips, but seriously you guys, this pizza was DELICIOUS. I'd go back to Salt Lake just for this pizza.
Friday was a similar story. Only this time with Matt and the Women's Basketball team, who weren't quite as tall, but I was still one of the shortest people there. This shoot was.... messy. But in a good way. If any of you have seen Dexter, we were basically working in one of his murder room set ups with plastic all over the walls and floor. Except less blood and more color. Lots of color. I don't have any pictures but I know Bethany and Utah Athletics posted some on Twitter if you're curious. Otherwise, you can just wait for the awesome intro video coming soon.
Saturday was quite the production with Zac and the Women's Gymnastics team. I was shooting some major blue screen video and Dustin was all over the pictures. I'm super in love with pretty much everything we got, so that may be a hard one to script. I finally got to feel tall though! But it came at a price as I soon felt super untalented/unathletic/lazy/[insert other adjectives here]. These ladies are some killer gymnasts. They got THREE perfect 10s last year. I don't think I've gotten a perfect score on anything (maybe a spelling test in elementary or middle school) let alone something as awesome as gymnastics. But if you would like to see Dustin take a crack at some gymnastics moves, here is a video!
After the shoot on Saturday, we headed down to Provo for the Holy War between Utah and BYU. Before the game, we tailgated with some great and super accomodating Ute fans. The game was also great because Utah won! However, if you've never been to a game in Provo... let's just say it's a little different. In case you didn't know, LDS/Mormons don't drink alcohol or caffeine. So while the BYU tailgate scene was almost non-existent (at least that I saw) they also didn't have much for soda in the stadium unless you wanted Sprite or Caffeine-free Coke. It wasn't bad. It was just different. Definitely a unique experience to conclude our trip to Utah. The next morning came a little early for my taste, and we headed to the airport before I passed out on the trip back to OKC.
Huge thanks to all the people at Utah for making my first trip out there a great one: Jen, Grant, Matt, Zac and Michael!
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.)