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
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.)

Lots of upsets this weekend: Several Old Hatters' favorite school that wears purple and resides just one state north took it on the chin on Friday night. But they weren't alone. Not only did several BCS schools lose, but they had to pay those smaller schools big bank to come in for the home games. Double whammy!

Oh, and the song behind the title...
 

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.

(Photo courtesy okcthundergirls )

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.

More to come...

(Lead photo courtesy Kory Mortensen) 

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

4 websites

30 Posters

25 Schedule cards

13 ticket designs

6 Programs

 

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.

 Today I'm going to talk about my recent travels shooting. Not only have I been out shooting videos and stills for clients these last few weeks, but I also attended a great cinematography workshop in Dallas.

A couple of weeks ago I made the short trip down to Dallas to attend Alex Buono's Visual Storytelling Tour. Alex is the Director of Photography for the Saturday Night Live Film Unit as well as a director of movies, commericals and shorts. That's Alex operating the new Movi and yours truly on the screen behind him with an iPhone pressed against my face taking the photo. 

The workshop was a very full day of lighting setups, equipment testing and most importantly storytelling. I'm looking forward to taking some of the lessons learned that day out on the road for future shoots. 

(Alex, lighting for an interview setup.)

My first trip out after the workshop was to Utah where we met up with the marketing team there and our on-campus designer Luke. Luke's a manly man with a manly beard so he had no problem having a girly drink at dinner.

 

We all met up the day before to setup and then kick off the shoot with dinner and to celebrate Bethany's birthday. Utah's also building a new football facility right now and Old Hat client rep Bethany and myself had a chance to take a tour. There's Bethany below throwing up her best U.

The day of the shoot was full of lots of green screen action and stills. We had limited time with all of the student-athletes, as these things tend to go, so we setup video one direction and stills in the other. Here's a couple of screengrabs below with yours truly shooting a player in video one moment and then photographs the next. 

We'll use the footage and stills to create all of the Utah football materials you'll see this year, so stay tuned for those future projects to be posted right here on the website. 

Next time I'll cover some of our other recent shoots. More to come...

 

 

 

I don't have a ton of memories from spending time with my father growing up.  He was in a car accident when I was 6 that nearly killed him and for a couple of years, he was incapable of doing much in the way of the typical father-son things.  And even after he had fully recovered, he was never the type of father to sit down on the floor with me and play a game.  He worked hard all week and then on the weekends he worked harder (I grew up on a farm).  This is not to say that my father failed in any way.  I think he still spent more time with me and my siblings than a lot of fathers do.  And he was a great dad.  I'm just saying that due there wasn't just a ton of one-on-one time.  Therefore, the memories I do have of time with my father are held very precious to me.  Three to four times per year, he would drive me the hour-long trek from Guthrie, OK to Norman to see the Sooners play football.  It was the Switzer era and there was no bigger fan of Brian Bosworth than I was.  I was equally as excited to go to the 2-3 OU men's hoops games each season.  Wayman Tisdale, Mookie Blaylock, Tim McAlester...  All my heroes.  But I don't think anything was better than when he'd take me to Stillwater to see OU play Oklahoma State in basketball.  Gallagher-Iba Arena held all of about 37 people back then and there were typically 4 OU fans in the entire crowd.  I was one of them for about 8 years in a row.  I'll never forget those times and because of those moments, I have passed that along to my own sons.  I want them to have those same memories I have.  

Years after I started Old Hat, I finally decided to sit down and figure out our mission.  What is our purpose?  Why do we do what we do?  I had pondered that many, many times and for some reason it was never obvious to me.  But all at once it became very clear why we are here and why I started Old Hat to begin with.  Almost every person I speak to, whether they are sports fans or not, have some memory of a sporting event that they will never forget.  Whether it's just driving to track meets with their dad, attending the World Series or simply playing little league, I've never met a person that didn't have a great sports memory that nearly brings tears to their eyes thinking about.  And those people ALWAYS remember exactly who they were with.  

Sports brings people together.  It provides opportunities for fathers to create lifelong memories with their sons.  It allows people to share great moments with their brothers, sisters, mothers, friends, etc.  And we get so wrapped up in it that the emotion often turns into embraces and tears of joy.  And all of the stresses of life are temporarily invisible.  

THAT is why we do what we do.  At Old Hat we have the opportunity to be a part of that.  We can amplify that experience for people.  Whether it's helping get people in the seats to begin with or making they experience better once they arrive, we are a part of creating memories for literally millions of people every year.  I take great satisfaction in that.

Hey everyone, welcome back! During the summer months I travel and shoot a lot of content that we use to produce football videos and other fall sports, so today I'm going to talk about what's been going on with Old Hat Capture.

Like Robert mentioned in his blog a week and a half ago, we just returned from the University of North Texas where we captured footage for their 2013 football videos. That's me in the photo above, giving instructions on a shot to 600 students. I can't remember exactly what direction I was giving here, but it was probably something along the lines of, "Hey, listen to this guy with the camera say something stupid and then scream like crazy."

The folks at North Texas who had organized this terrific shoot naturally fretted about the results and wanted the crowd to look super excited, thankfully they got their wish.

Dealing with a crowd can be unpredictable, but in this case we had a captive audience since they were taking part in an orientation of sorts. There's nothing like putting six hundred 18-year olds wearing the same shirt into a football stadium. All you need is a microphone and a PA and excitement WILL ensue. It's just a fact people. 

The students were already seated in the stands when we arrived, so we just started there. I wanted some epic shots that showed the vastness of the crowd and a tripod just wasn't going to do it for me. Thankfully I had brought the jib along for just this occasion. It doesn't hurt that it looks extremely cool in operation as well, which is always useful when dealing with a bunch of teenagers. Robert and I did some quick setting up of the SevenJib on the platform and we were ready in just a few minutes thankfully.

Let me backtrack for a minute though.

We started by shooting the players against a bluescreen. Normally you might use a greenscreen to key out players, but since they wear green as part of their uniforms it would probably make for some odd video to have a bunch of disembodied heads floating around in the intro video.  

I can't get into too much detail on the blog today, but we'll use the keyed out footage of the players to do some cool stuff, so stay tuned for that in the coming months. 

On another sidenote, we obviously have a lot of football videos in the pipeline but I'm making time in the next couple of weeks to attend a pretty cool workshop that should be beneficial moving forward for all of our clients. It's Alex Buono's Visual Storytelling Tour and you can find more info on it here.  I'll recap that in an upcoming blog. More to come...

Well that about covers the bad and the ugly over the last few weeks. Now let’s move on to the good…

 NACMA

Another successful NACMA is under the Old Hat belt and although it feels really good to have made it through without any hiccups, I also realize what the end of the NACMA conference signifies… BUSINESS TIME!  That’s why they call them business socks.

I always enjoy NACMA but this year seemed especially good and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’m not naturally an extroverted person and it takes me some time to warm up to people. So one would figure by my seventh conference maybe I’m starting to warm up to all the people I see every year, and I figure that’s why this year seems to have gone so well. I admit I’m not a small-talker and I don’t feel uncomfortable with having some silence. It’s golden, after all. It’s also hard for me to “fake it” when I’m talking with people, so if I act like I want to talk with you, chances are I do.

Office Pranks

 

So this didn’t seem like it should fall in the “good” category, but it does. I came back from NACMA to find a piece of foil wrapped around my office doorknob. I thought to myself, “Oh, nice prank people- that’s so amateur.” Before I could even finish my thought I had opened my door to what appeared to be the inside of the ship from Flight of the Navigator. It was ridiculous… ridiculously awesome. Although I knew there was going to be some serious cleanup to be done, there was a true respect for the effort put forth by Tricia, Traci and Stevie. I’m quite the prankster around the office, but I can handle getting a taste of my own medicine every now and then. So we’ll see what happens…

 North Texas On-Site Shoot

Last on my list of the good things is the video shoot Dustin and I just finished up with North Texas (actually on our way back now as I write this blog). It’s always nice to go to a shoot and have things run smoothly. Dustin does a great job on our side making sure we have everything needed, but we also have to rely on our clients to get the student-athletes, coaches and many others in the right place at the right time. Tonight was a perfect example of all those things coming together seamlessly. We started off by setting up a couple hours before the first football players came in. The room provided for our blue screen was exactly what we needed- a high ceiling and a lot of space to allow us to capture what we needed (FYI- we use blue screens when shooting folks wearing a lot of green). Secondly, the student-athletes were ready on time. That was crucial to keeping with the schedule and it worked out beautifully. Once we had all the guys “captured” we moved out to Apogee Stadium to shoot 600 rowdy students. It was good foresight by Jamie and Kayla to use the freshman orientation as a backdrop for our video shoot. When else are you gonna have that many students in one place, having a good time and dressed in fan gear, with the ability to direct them to do what you want? It turned out incredible- the students were pumped after an electric speech by Athletic Director Rick Villareal, they did exactly what they were asked and at the end of the day we got a lot of great footage that will show how much fun it is to be part of North Texas athletics.

So there you have it, a breakdown of the good, the bad and the ugly, with more emphasis on the good. Happy humpday!

Hello in Old Hat blog land! I just got back from the NACMA convention in Orlando. I hope all of our clients made it home safely and had a great NACMA. It was great chatting with all of you.

Today I'm going to talk about Old Hat Capture. Some of the feedback I got at NACMA was about how some clients didn't know we offered this service, so I want to tell you a little more about it. 

(Above - Old Hat Capture hard at work in Cincinnati.) 

Old Hat Capture is one of six divisions of Old Hat Creative. Old Hat Capture focuses on capturing original photography and video content for our clients. We can travel to your location and shoot the materials you need for any and all of your sports throughout the year. We can turn that content over to you or we can use it to produce the posters, videos and supporting materials you market with throughout the year. 

We have experience with shooting green/blue screen, scripting and storyboarding, live action and posed headshots. Basically anything you need to make cool stuff. This service goes hand in hand with Old Hat Productions and every other Old Hat division so that you can get everything you need from one, full-service creative agency. 

In just the last few weeks we've traveled to MIchigan, SMU and Cincinnati to shoot and have upcoming trips to North Texas and Utah in the next couple of weeks. We've been traveling to shoot for some clients year after year and captured footage of almost every sport in the process. 

(Above - An Old Hat Capture set up in the Michigan football locker room.)

 We can work with a minimal crew to keep costs down for the client or we can ramp up to a large production to take care of those big ideas you have. We can shoot a broad range of styles so any idea you have for your program or sport is within reach. 

If you want to know more about Old Hat Capture or get a look at more examples or hear more about the process then give us a call or send us an email. We'll be happy to discuss your project and what Old Hat Capture can do for you. 

(Above - Old Hat Capture on location at SMU.)

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