One of my favorite parts about working at Old Hat is when I get to see our completed projects in person. This past Friday I had the opportunity to make the short drive from Greensboro to Durham for Duke's annual Countdown to Craziness event. Since Duke basketball is sort of a big deal around these parts, fans cannot wait for the season to start and the first chance to see the teams scrimmage.
After picking up our tickets and waiting in line with thousands of other people, they opened the doors and everyone eagerly made their way into Cameron Indoor Stadium. On my way in I was handed a Duke Men’s Basketball roster card that just so happened to be designed by Old Hat.
After getting to our seats, there was still a good hour before the team scrimmage was set to start. During this time, Duke did a great job of entertaining the fans with various games and video features. One of those videos just happened to be a video Old Hat created about Cameron Indoor Stadium and some of the past great Duke players who have played there. Old Hat’s video crew did a complete 3D model of Cameron and then did some fancy thing called rotoscoping where they cut out players from old Duke video footage and placed them into the 3D model. You can check it out here for yourself!
After that, it was about time for the team to take the court. To further build the anticipation, Duke asked Old Hat to create a two minute countdown animation leading up to the team taking the floor. They used one version of the countdown animation on top of a video that they play on the main video board every year before the start of Countdown to Craziness. The other version of the animation was played on the scorer’s table video board.
In the next week Duke will also be debuting video player features and a couple of unique Duke logo animations that we also had the opportunity to work on. Check back soon to see more info on those projects! Countdown to Craziness was a great event to be at and even better because I got to see a lot of Old Hat’s work in person!
As a graphic designer I'm always on the look out for creative inspiration and reasons to quit having a bad attitude. Most of the time the inspiration comes visually, like this package design for a box of golfballs or this graphic from Sunday Night Football.
But other times the inspiration comes in the form of music. For me, music is just as important to the design process as the visual inspiration. It's my secret weapon. It's what gets my creative juices flowing. Below is my official "Design Jamz" (with a Z cause that's cool) Spotify Playlist. Chance are, if I designed your poster and it was awesome, I was listening to one of these songs… if it wasn't awesome, I was probably listening to NPR. Sorry about that. I'll be sure to listen to one of these songs next time. I promise.
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.
UMASS came to Old Hat with the request to create a graphics package for their athletic department's weekly TV show. This included a show open, lower thirds, sponsor billboards, transitions and a resizeable box with a motion background (fancy video speak for really cool stuff). We worked with UMASS to create a high quality production with a uniform look that was sure to keep the Minutemen fans glued to the TV.
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!
The University of Michigan started a new tradition in The Big House this season: Let's Go...BLUE. It's a call and response type of cheer to get the 110,000 (115,000? It's hard to keep up with those attendance records in Ann Arbor) fans hyped and amped and all around crazy in the stands. For a lot of crowd prompt type of projects you can get away with just an animation, but for a certain few it makes a big difference to combine the animation with video. It's the perfect way to increase the production value in your game day animations. It's also another way to showcase your student athletes to your fanbase.
Michigan shot several current and former Wolverines against a green screen. This first version of Let's Go...BLUE was played for the first couple of home games to introduce the fans to the new cheer campaign. Starting quarterback Devin Gardner is a natural in front of the camera and was able to ad-lib this whole thing. Over the course of the season Michigan will release 4-5 more versions of Let's Go...Blue.
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...).