This past week I was fortunate to get to meet up with Dustin and travel to Murray State to shoot footage for their men's and women's basketball intro videos. I hadn't been to Murray State before, so I was excited to visit a new campus and meet with another client in person. I had been communicating with the Murray State marketing department for the past couple of months about the intro videos. The fun part for me about being at a video shoot is seeing how we take the client's vision and help to create the content. From there our crazy talented editors work their magic to bring everything together. I'm excited to see how the intro videos turn out! Keep an eye out for the finished products over the next few weeks. In the mean time, here's some photos from our time in Murray, KY!

  

  

  

  

  

Last week, Dustin and I took our second trip of the year to the University of Utah for a video and photo shoot.  This time, we were capturing footage of basketball and gymnastics.  This was my first gymnastics shoot, and as expected, I was super excited to be back in a gym.  

The gymnastics world is extremely small, and it turned out, I already knew a few people in the Utah gymnastics family.  I even caught up with an old teammate of mine from home.  She is a former Ute herself and was in town to do makeup for the girls.  Also, my old athletic trainer at Illinois State is now the Utah gymnastics trainer.  It was neat to catch up with everyone.

It was also great to see our on campus designer, Douglas and see how well he is doing working at the U.

As always, thank you to the Utah marketing staff for organizing the shoot and another great trip to the SLC.

Checkout a few photos! 

 Men's Basketball green screen video


Men's Basketball action photos


The team gathering around to see their work


My new tall friend...only a few inches difference


More video in different settings


Gymnastics photos


Gymnastics green screen video


My old teammate Nina!

At this time of the year here at Old Hat, we have to go on a lot of road trips to see clients for photo and video shoots, and once I finish my first blog at OH, I will be leaving on my first road trip and photo shoot in Lubbock, Texas.  Seeing we are having to drive through the scenic West Texas area, I figured the best thing to do is to to compile a list of road trip music.  No matter how far the road trip is, its always good to set the tone of the trip off on a good note (see what I did there?).  My personal opinion is that you have to have a good mix of music for the trip, much like your favorite high school mix tape you made for that crush back in the day.  

So what is the perfect list of songs to use for a trip? Well let me help out with easing the stress of a road trip playlist while your packing up to hit the road.  I feel you have a few catagories you need to hit on your playlist, especially when you are traveling with someone.  First you need to pick out some classic songs, then fan favorite songs everyone knows, and if you are like me the lesser known songs/bands to introduce your travel partner(s) too.  Now that we have the basic guidline for my road trip playlist, let me get to the top 25 songs that I would use in a playlist in no particular order:

25. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town by Pearl Jam

24. Any Way You Want It by Journey

23.  I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

22.  Mind Your Manners by Chiddy Bang

21. Jessie's Girl By Rick Springfield (great sing-a-long song)

20.  Baba O'riley by The Who (no it's not called Teenage Wasteland, big pet peeve!)

19. Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen

18. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

17. Tumbling Dice by The Rolling Stones

16. The Lemon Song by Led Zepplin  (that was to get on Zac's good side)

15. Fancy by Iggy Azalea 

14. Train in Vain by The Clash

13. Hard Knock Life by Jay Z

12. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show

11. Lasso by Phoenix

10. Skinny Love by Bon Iver

9. Oh No by Girl Talk (I love this DJ, check him out)

8. California Waiting by Kings of Leon

7. When I Open My Eyes by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

6. Alive by Pearl Jam

5. Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

4. Anywhere But Here by Cross Canadian Ragweed

3.  I Left My Wallet in El Segundo by A Tribe Called Quest

2. Broken Open by Cold War Kids

1. Rearviewmirror By Pearl Jam

 Well, there is my list, and yes you will find out that Pearl Jam is the center of my musical universe, and if you wanted I could easily give you a road trip list of Pearl Jam songs.  Well it looks like it's time to end this blog and hit the road to Lubbock with Dustin.  

-Huff

 

 

Old Hat Capture is having a busy summer as usual. Shoots come and go and I rarely get a chance to recap everything that went on, nor do I remember all the details all the time. It's a whirlwind. 

One of the things we've been working on here at Old Hat World HQ is reorganizing our website to give clients a better idea of what Old Hat Capture can do. This means providing examples of past shoots that fit under certain categories. What kinds of photo shoots does Old Hat Capture do and what are the differences? What kinds of video shoots can we do and what differentiates those? 

Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions can help you make a decision on what kind of videos or photos you want produced for your marketing materials. There's a bunch of different ways we use footage and stills to create a video. But there's a few basic ways we capture it. Today we're going to talk about Practical Video Shoots.

PRACTICAL VIDEO SHOOT

A practical video shoot is one in which we shoot the student-athletes doing something in a normal setting. This could be during a practice, in the weight room, in the locker room, on the court or playing field or anywhere else they "normally" do stuff. We may setup additional lighting to add to the drama or we might be going for a more natural look. You can see some behind the scenes photos and finished videos of some practical video shoots below. 

Duke Men's Basketball

For this shoot we captured student athletes on the court doing what they do. Playing defense, dribbling, shooting, etc. Then we added effects in post-production over the live video.

 

Murray State Men's Basketball

This shoot involved players in a practical setting, i.e., on the basketball court, but there was no action involved. Their participation was limited to reading lines and the court was merely used as a backdrop. 

 

Utah Men's Basketball

For this shoot we captured players in a variety of settings. In the weight room, on the practice court, in the tunnel at the arena, etc.

A shoot that covers several different locations can add visual interest to your video, but also requires more time to change locations, setup and breakdown equipment and generally move everyone from place to place. Make sure you have sufficient time for a shoot like this.

 

 

That's it for today. Next time we'll go over another type of video shoot. The Greenscreen Video Shoot.

If you follow Old Hat on social media, you probably already know that Dustin and I had the opportunity to visit the University of Central Arkansas last week.  If you don’t follow along, Dustin and I visited Central Arkansas last week.

We were super excited because this was the first time either of us had been there.  We do our fair share of traveling, but it is always neat to see new campuses.  Plus, they have a PURPLE and GRAY football field!!!!  I know this is not how most would describe a football field, but it is sooooo pretty!

We were on campus to capture some footage for this year’s football intro video.  We captured some campus b-roll, practice, and footage of some of the players.  

This was no typical video shoot.  On this day, August 14, Dustin took a ride on a teeny tiny airplane to capture some aerial footage of the beautiful Estes Stadium and field.  Luckily, there wasn’t any room for me because I was more than fine hanging out in the airport while Dustin and the pilot flew in circles a few times.

Here are some photos and videos from our shoot!  Be sure to check Facebook for the rest!


Here's Dustin warming up for his plane ride...just kidding...he is actually getting a cool shot of the yard lines. 


While we were on the field, I had to add to my collection of #HandstandsWithHannah photos.  I am competing with Zac for a world record as well.  He is currently winning 18-5.


Dustin getting ready for the plane!  He even wore his Aviators...how convenient.

 

There they go!

 

Thank you Ryan, Josh, Kai, and staff for showing us around and organizing everything to make this happen!  


Good Monday morning folks! Man, is that not a SWEET title graphic?

Okay, so it's somewhat obvious that I'm NOT a graphic designer. BUT, I do work with a few of them here at the Hat, and I gotta tell ya, they've been bustin' it out this summer.

In my last blog I talked about the amount of work we've done over just the last year, and went on about how we're the experts in our field. Rest assured, none of that has changed, but it's been on my mind for a while to figure out what it is that makes some of our work better than other work. Oh sure, we can't always do the very absolute best project ever created in the history of mankind, but that's at least what we're shooting for. So why isn't everything the best?

Over my 8+ years of working at Old Hat, there have been a couple times that a client has mentioned they didn't feel they were getting the same level of design as other clients; that perhaps, because a client is a big-time university, they might be getting our best possible work while others are getting the run-of-the-mill stuff. Now I know design is very subjective, and unless you have The Design Spectrometer 400TL, it's really hard to gauge the level of design you're getting from a designer. That's why we always scan and document the results for each design using the DS400. By doing so, we can ensure that each poster gets equal amounts of athletic aptitude, branding recallability, design and structural interface integrity, and love. Yeah, you know what, I made that part up about the DS400. I thought we had started doing that but apparently not.

Okay, so seriously... why is it that some work is better? I've gotta say, I think these two graphs tell the story. Before you get upset and send me hate emails, know that I realize clients don't actually perceive things the way that I have them in the first graph. This is a dramatization intended to make a point. Or maybe some clients and others not familiar with the creative process actually DO think this is the best method. In that case, I would ask that you study the second graph.

Here's a quick breakdown of the graph below:

- The level of quality goes from low to high as the client provides input. Simple graph: more input equals better quality, regardless of how much or what type of input a client gives (content or design related). This is what I would call the "perceived" best design practice. And just to be absolutely clear, this is wrong.

 

The graph below is what I'm calling the actual best design practice. And here's a brief explanation:

- Quality goes up as input is received, similar to the first graph, up to a certain point. The point at which the quality starts to take a downturn is generally when clients move across that imaginary border I'd call the design line. In this graph, that's represented by the Ideal Input line. Providing all the pieces to the puzzle is great, but as the experts, we then have to take those pieces and put it together in a way that screams AWESOME!!

- The Quality level is represented by the upside-down U (downward parabola for you math folks), because having little or no info is probably not going to lead to a great result. In the same way, having too much information or design direction (after you get past that design line) is not going to lead to a great result either.

So what's the ideal amount of input? Honestly, it will probably vary from project to project and client to client. As a general rule, when we have as much content and direction necessary to effectively communicate your message, combined with the freedom to creatively enhance that message. That, my friend, is the ideal amount of input.

 

 

It's that time of the year again. Zac and I headed up to Denver to shoot a PSA for the Western Athletic Conference during their WAC SAAC meetings. I love this shoot because the WAC is awesome, Amanda is awesome, the student athletes are awesome and Denver is pretty awesome too. This year was a little different than previous years as we normally just shoot some green screen with the student athletes in the hotel. But since the WAC is launching a new digital network, we got some other footage for them to use there. 

Friday, we headed down to the Boys & Girls Club to get some footage of the student athletes hanging out and playing with the kiddos. At first I was really nervous about bring fancy camera equipment around a bunch of children, but those kids loved hanging out with the student athletes so much that hardly any of them even noticed the camera. We also got a few interviews with the student athletes about how much giving back to the community is important to them and I was super impressed with all of their efforts through the WAC and their own universities. (Sidenote: We also went out to dinner that night and got those amazing pretzel sticks I blogged about last year. I think they somehow got even better over the passing year, so shout out to Amanda for ordering them and sharing with everyone!)

Saturday was pretty chill. We got some footage of their meetings during the day and a little bit of them cutting loose during bowling that night. Then Sunday was the green screen shoot for the PSA with the student athletes reading from a teleprompter. I'm usually a little nervous about using a teleprompter because A.) it's hard and B.) it's not easy. Ok, I know those are the same thing but seriously, talking into a camera with all those bright lights pointing at you is intimidating enough and then you gotta read some scrolling text?! Forget about it. But actually don't, because these guys NAILED it. No wonder they were sent to represent their universities.

I'm really excited about everything we shot, so be on the lookout for an awesome WAC PSA in the coming weeks!

Old Hat Capture has been on the road again the last couple of weeks with trips to Texas Tech University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Tulsa. Here's some quick links to get you up to speed on all the stuff we've been paying attention to lately. 

• Blackmagic Design is offering their pocket cinema camera for $500 until late August. Amazing deal for a cool camera, even with all of its shortcomings. 

 

• We just returned from a recent Capture shoot at Southern Methodist University. Check out the video below!

(Video courtesy of Old Hat Intern Josie Logsdon)

• I always want to improve the commercials and intro videos we shoot so I watch a lot of movie behind the scenes features, read a lot of industry publications and am constantly examining the masters of cinema at work. This guy does an AMAZING job of breaking that kind of stuff down and I really dig his new YouTube examination of Michael Bay. Check it out. 

 

That's it for today folks. Come back next time for more cool stuff!

I'm so thankful to be working in the sports industry. It's fun. It's fast-paced. It's entertaining. It's something different every day. And it's a challenge. Chances are if you're reading this, you're working in the sports industry yourself, and you share these sentiments.

From time to time, I forget what makes us a great company, what it is that sets us apart from other creative agencies and freelancers. I forget how good our people are at what they do. I forget how difficult it must be to produce new materials each and every day, yet give each project its own unique identity. But it's the experience of creating new projects each day that makes us the experts at what we do. If you look at popular theory (Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and others), expertise comes through repetition. Basically, by the time you put in 10,000 hours doing any one thing, you've become an expert in that field. That equates to roughly five years of doing 40-hour work weeks to become an expert.

Old Hat has experts on staff. We've got print designers, developers, animators and (don't forget) client service reps with that kind of experience. It goes beyond that though. Our designers, developers and animators aren't just simply putting in hours to gain expertise. It starts with talented people that push themselves, which in turn causes those around them to work harder (iron sharpens iron). That's a benefit we have that you won't get from freelancers and in-house designers. That's not to say they can't create great work and aren't experts themselves, but I'd put our team of experts against an individual any day.

If you look at the sheer volume of work Old Hat produced in 2013, you might realize what I've realized: 1) how difficult it must be to constantly push ourselves to greatness and 2) how our experience continues to keep us the best at what we do.

So what is that volume of work? Let's see what we did in 2013, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the common projects we work on daily.

PRINT

Posters - 353

Schedule cards - 146

Ads- 63

Tickets - 49

Billboards - 25

Magnets - 34

 

LOGOS: 71

WEB projects (some full sites, some updates to existing sites): 64

VIDEO

Intro Videos - 73

Commercials - 54

Animations - 63

 

Photo/Video Shoots: 19 full day shoots, 7 half days

 

I think the evidence speaks for itself. So if you ever wonder if we're truly equipped to handle your next project, just trust us, we know what we're doing.

 

 

I've spent all summer traveling to shoot jobs for clients. It's a whirlwind of packing equipment, unpacking equipment, setting up, tearing down, and capturing photos and motion along the way. 

The benefit of all that work is that we come back to the office with some amazing content to put out for clients. The disadvantage is that I get way behind on showing that work off on this blog. 

Recently we attended NACMA and had a new portfolio put together to show clients there. Here's a digital version for all of you who didn't get the chance to attend. Hit us up here at Old Hat Headquarters to see what we can do for you.

 

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