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….
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.
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.
In case you haven't heard (like the weather here in Oklahoma), it's July already. WOAH! Where did the time go? Seems like just a few weeks ago it was the New Year and all of a sudden, last week I'm celebrating my 1 year anniversary at Old Hat. IT'S CRAZY STUFF. But, with the start of July comes two things: our busy season and Independence Day (the actual day AND the movie, so I guess that's actually 3 things? whatever.)
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays - there's no stress about getting everyone the perfect gift, no excessive holiday traveling, no worrying about if all the food will get done at the same time, etc. It's all about pyrotechnics and stuffing your face with unhealthy things like beer and hamburgers and my absolute favorite - hotdogs. WHAT CAN BE MORE AMERICAN THAN THAT?! In case you couldn't think of anything, I've already got something for you - one of the lesser-known and under-appreciated sports out there: Competitive Eating. More specifically, Nathan's Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.
I'm sure most of you have seen or at the very least heard about this crazy awesome spectator event. I first became interested in the sport when I saw one of those MTV True Life documentaries about competitive eating. They even followed around Takeru Kobayashi, who is one of the greatest to ever eat a bunch of food really, really fast. At the time, I thought this guy looked unbeatable. Before him, the record was 25 hot dogs, and in his first year, he DOUBLED that number and took home first place in the Hot Dog Eating Contest 6 years in a row. That was UNTIL American great Joey Chestnut came along and has won every contest since 2007. This year, he's going for 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He's finished 68 in two previous years, so I definitely think he can do it.
This morning, I was thinking of what an intro video for Joey Chestnut would look like... Do we focus on his EIGHT World Records? Maybe the fact that he's going for his 7th Nathan's title this year, to surpass Kobayashi? Or even throw in a VO from a previous interview, "I will not stop until I reach 70. This sport isn't about eating. It's about drive and dedication, and at the end of the day, hot dog eating challenges both my body and my mind."? This guy is hard core, but ultimately, I came to the conclusion that making a minute-long intro video for a 10 minute eating contest may be a little excessive. What do you think? Are you going to join me on the Fourth in cheering for our hometown (err, country) hero? Either way, I hope you have a fun (AND SAFE) holiday!
I recently got back from a pretty fantastic vacation to Tennessee and Pennsylvania. We hit up Dollywood and got some amazing Moonshine in Gatlinburg (free mini shots to sample the goods...hello!). Country music, mountains and booze: nice work, Tennessee. We spent the next few days in Gettysburg, PA. I'm a pretty big history nerd so it was really amazing just walking around the old town and battlegrounds. One of the coolest things on this trip (other than the ghost tour during the daylight with our guide carrying a lit candle) was my discovery of the Gettysburg Cyclorama. It's probably a combination of geographic location and generational factors, but I had never even heard of a cyclorama, ever. What a sheltered life.
Here's a quick wiki word-for-word definition: A cyclorama is a panoramic painting on the inside of a cylindrical platform, designed to provide a viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder with a 360° view of the painting. The intended effect is to make a viewer, surrounded by the panoramic image, feel as if they were standing in the midst of an historic event or famous place. As the viewers stood in the center of the painting, there would often be music and a narrator telling the story of the event depicted.
For a video lady like myself this experience of the Battle of Gettysburg was mind blowing. The painting is 27 feet high by 359 feet in circumference.Think 19th century IMAX. A different scene comes to life everywhere you look. Words or photos won't do it justice, but it was truly a remarkable piece of work that I would highly recommend checking out sometime.
There's something to be said about being able to transport a viewer to a different time and location. That opportunity is one of the great things about working in video. A project we're currently in the final stages of is a 3D model project for Duke Basketball. I can't reveal the exact details, but my experience in the Gettysburg Cyclorama mirrors (in a way) what we're doing in this video. Exciting stuff in the OH Video Department! I will link back to this blog entry when we can go public with this project and then you'll all be like, "I totally see what Deb was talking about."
If I were to build my very own Deb's Summer Vacation 2013 Cyclorama it would probably include a view of these images (courtesy of my magical iphone):
Almost a year ago, I started at Old Hat Creative. My second week on the job I attended NACMA in Dallas and at about that same time, the University of Utah came on as a retainer client. This meant great things for Old Hat Creative! We would be their marketing agency, designing anything and everything one can think of in the sports marketing world. Intro videos, posters, banners, calendars, logos, commercials, web and newspaper ads, social media graphics, brochures, postcards, etc. The list goes on and on.
It's been one year now and Old Hat Creative and the University of Utah Athletics are happy to announce a new opportunity! Starting this July, our graphic designer, Luke Atkinson, is moving to Salt Lake City, Utah to work side-by-side with the Utah Marketing department as a member of Old Hat Creative. You can read Luke's story by reading his latest blog entry.