When I want to get fired up for work in the morning, not because I'm not already super excited to go to work, I watch the 2013 Cincinnati Football intro video.  I think you could replace your morning coffee with this video and be more than fine for the rest of the day.

When discussing video concepts with Brad Wurthman, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Deb/Dustin/Hannah: Do you have any ideas in mind for the video this year?

Brad:  Yes!  I want something that melts faces and makes people want to run through brick walls.

Deb/Dustin/Hannah:  Okay, we can definitely do that.

Brad:  Is there anything you guys have been wanting to try?

Deb/Dustin/Hannah: Yes!  What about this...

And a star was born.  One idea that had been on Deb and Dustin's minds was stop motion photography.  All of the shots of the players, coach, and mascot are made up of 30-40 photos in quick succession.  Combine those with an emotional locker room speech and amazing highlights, and TA DA!  Cincinnati has an intro video like no other.

Try watching this video and NOT be ready to take on the world after.  Like he said, "If you ain't ready to go, I don't know what's wrong with you."  It most certainly motivates me to "do my job" and maybe even go attempt to play football...or something crazy like that.

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...).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” they said.  

“It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you,” they said.

Those two statements could not ring more true in the story of how Presbyterian College, one of the smallest NCAA Division I universities, became one of the biggest new clients at Old Hat Creative.

Having heard of Old Hat from former coworkers, Simon Whitaker contacted us to help PC celebrate 100 years of football and basketball this season.  This included developing a website to honor the past and present, a commemorative logo, a historical and intro video, and various print pieces.  We did print pieces for Presbyterian’s other fall sports as well.  

We started with the 100 years logo.  Our designer, Brian, found a way to celebrate both football and basketball in one logo. 

From that point, our designer, Geoff, created an amazing football poster that featured the logo front and center and captured the historical essence of football through photos in the background. (top photo of this blog)

With the print work completed, we were able to design a website with the same design elements.  The goal of bluehose100.com is to highlight the great moments throughout the 100 years of football and basketball at PC.  

The website is broken down into ten decades.  Each decade features stories, photos, and videos to share the story.  

One feature of the site that will catch your attention right away is the historical video.  Again, with the logo prominent, this video captures memorable moments in time through the 100 years of football at PC. 

The website is structured to be continually be updated throughout the season.  As basketball season approaches, the content can become more concentrated towards basketball, while still featuring football.

I have had a wonderful time over the last few months working with Simon to complete all of these projects.  He has been AMAZING at communicating what he wanted to see and providing us the content we needed to produce these pieces.  

PC now has a consistent brand across all platforms to promote and celebrate the history of their athletic programs.   

Who knows what would have happened if Simon never had that conversation about Old Hat from his former coworkers.  

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!

We all like to be recognized for our hard work. It's always nice to hear that you’ve done a good job on something especially when you give it your all. However, what’s more important to me is not the praise itself but whom I hear it from.

For example, last week some of my work (along with several other Old Hatters) was featured on The Bleacher Report's Top 50 College Football Posters of 2013. The posters were ranked on a variety of criteria, from team spirit and photo quality to all-around creativity and general awesomeness. Everything seemed to be taken into consideration when being ranked. However, once you begin reading the rational for the ranking of each poster it becomes clear that those doing the ranking aren’t designers. It’s obvious they’re completely unaware of what all goes into designing a successful college football poster. 

They have no way of knowing which elements were the designer’s ideas and which were the school’s. They don’t know about the conversations designers have with their clients or what resources the designers had to work with. Nor do they know about the time and design constraints put upon them by University athletic departments. But you know who does? Yep, other designers. They know all about what goes into making a successful college football poster. They know it can be a difficult task to give the client what they want and at the same time give them what they need.

So even though my work showed up on this list (one piece making it into the top 5) it’s not the praise from Bleacher Report that matters to me. I take that with a grain of salt. What really matters to me is what my peers think. If I’m able to impress them with the work I’ve done then I feel like I’ve created a successful poster.

Not only were we excited to be working with Wyoming as a new client, but we were thrilled to create something for such a one of a kind brand.  From the wise words of Deb, “we knew we wanted to really play up the altitude factor with the design of the mountains and the text point ‘Welcome to 7,220 feet’.”

By the way, we all agree with her about that line being one of the coolest and intimidating school sayings.      

We were also able to showcase Wyoming’s western motif with the music, logo opening, tag ending, and the font (created by Old Hat).  

With Nick’s direction, we desaturated the colors on the football highlights to really give it that Western theme.  He trusted us to “do our thing” and along with great communication, it led to an awesome project and a satisfied client.

“We are ecstatic with how our spot turned out. Old Hat blew our expectations out of the water, delivering a commercial that is pulse-pounding, graphically outstanding and most importantly, memorable. Our fans are raving about it and this is due to the amazing creative work by Old Hat.”

- Nick Popplewell, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Branding

We are just mere weeks away from the start of sports season.  I know, I know, baseball has been going on all summer…..woo. The real sports season begin, I mean. 

This weekend the English Premier League kicks off with the Community Shield.  The annual worthless game that is the official start of the season.  The reigning league champions face off against the cup winners from the previous season.  This year it is Manchester United vs Wigan.  This will be the first official game for Man United with out their legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson.  Yea, he was a knight.  The actual season kicks off the following week so I am just a few days away from having something to do every Saturday morning again.  

Three weeks away is college football season.  I was really excited about this year but, the off season has been an annoyance.  Will Johnathon Manziel play?  Who knows?  Well… actually I do.  He will play and win the Heisman, again.  But not as who you think.  He will suit up as Victor Chandler.  Yep…. This guy….

No, he is not Johnny Manziel, obviously. Victor Chandler is #2, a mobile quarterback, plays for Texas A&M, and is freakishly good.  Sure fooled me EA Sports.

In all seriousness, with the season only a few weeks away, we are busy at Old Hat Creative.  Posters, videos, schedule cards, and websites all have to be done in the next few weeks.   Check out some of the work we have done so far….

 

James Madison Football Poster

North Texas Football Commercial 2013

Rice Football Poster 2013 

Wyoming Cowboys Football Commercial 2013

Virginia Football 2013 Website

As we get closer to the season starting more posters, videos, and websites will be released.  Stay tuned!!

How was your weekend? Awesome?! I hope so! Mine was a bit of a roller coaster... let's go for a ride!

We begin Friday around lunch time... Bethany and I head to the airport for a shoot in Denver for the Western Athletic Conference. While we arrived on time for our flight, our plane did not: Technical Problems. Oh flight delays...

We make it to Denver about two hours later than planned. This unfortunately meant that we had to cancel a Happy Hour date with the fine folks from University of Denver :( as it was time to meet up with Amanda and 18 student-athletes from the WAC for dinner on the 16th Street Mall. 

That's me with a pretzel stick appetizer. (It was delicious, in case you were wondering.)  After dinner, we set up the equipment for the early shoot the next day and were off to bed.

Now we all know that student-athletes are extremely talented on the field/court/rink/course/mat/pool (I think I got them all), but that talent doesn't always transfer in front of the camera - there's a reason those Hollywood celebrities make the big bucks. However, the student-athletes at this shoot had been chosen to represent their school because of their leadership, and boy, did they rise to the challenge! They did better than I could have hoped, making for a relatively quick shoot. 

This left us with some free time to enjoy Denver (because who couldn't enjoy such a great city?) before our flight back to OKC. Bethany and I went out to find baby clothes for her nephew before lunch, when I sort of abandoned her (sorry, Bethany) to hang out with my dad. Him and I had lunch, then he took me to see the house he just bought and we just visited since I don't get to see him often.

When our free time was up, Bethany and I headed back to the airport, ready to get home. Unfortunately for us, Denver enjoyed our visit so much that it didn't want us to leave. Storms quite literally surrounded the city - nobody in, nobody out. Shucks. Luckily there was a restaurant/bar next to our gate where we grabbed some grub and made friends with a fellow stranded traveler. But the delays kept coming and eventually most of the restaurants closed, leaving us wondering if/when we would ever get out.

Denver, I love you, but this is too much. We can't do this to each other. You have to let us go.

Eventually Denver did let us go... nearly 5 hours later. I finally collapsed into my apartment just before 4 a.m. 

I woke up from my coma around 12:45 in the afternoon and barely rolled out of bed to get some coffee... with lunch.

Fortunately, with it being Sunday, the football gods graced us with a preseason Cowboys game. Some people completely disregard preseason because it doesn't count. You're right; it doesn't. However, I was born and raised a Cowboys fan. I love my 'Boys and they... break my heart every year, BUT THAT'S BESIDE THE POINT. Point is, preseason games give a tiny glimpse of what is to come for the season, and I gotta say, I was pretty pleased. Our defense looked more aggressive under new DC Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense. And the running backs looked like very promising replacements for when DeMarco Murray inevitably gets hurt. (Don't get me wrong, I pray he doesn't.) Although, maybe with the depth, he won't have to get hurt this year? Did you hear me football gods? Please? Anyway, the Cowboys won and that makes me happy. Even if it is preseason... against the Dolphins... and most of the starters didn't even play a down... I'm a Cowboys fan through and through so OBVIOUSLY... THIS IS THE YEAR. (every year is THE year, but this year really is THE year, ok? ok.)

*All photos in this blog are courtesy of Bethany's twitter. If you don't already follow her, do it @bethanybrenkus.

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.

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