Yesterday at our mid-year Staff Infection, Zac asked us to pick a project from 2014 we worked on or worked with that we really liked. This list could really go on and on as there are hundreds to pick from. A few projects mentioned yesterday are still being finalized and are almost ready for release - stay tuned as more great stuff is always coming out of this place! And like a parent with their children, it's hard to pick a favorite. But here are some of the highlights…
Perhaps you're thinking this blog has been done before and you'd be correct. Tricia showed us her desk a few weeks back. FASCINATING STUFF! Now we (Dustin) know where she keeps all of her snacks (out in plain sight)! So seeing how I gave her this blog idea and have no better idea for myself this week, here you go. My desk/shelf/area:
Well, this is my desk. It's typically a clutter-free zone. That's the Type-A/OCD or what I like to call "organized" part of me. I hate clutter and it's one of the few things I can control whilst at the office. You'll notice I have several post-it notes out right now. I'm trying to come up with some new creative ideas for next season's videos. I'll probably write a blog about those things later when I have it figured out a little better. For now, the post-it notes on the wall are typical things we see in most basketball intro videos...a basketball video bingo if you will. And on my desk are notes with things that could make a video more unique and less cookie-cutter.
Other things on my desk include my Beats earbuds (the most essential thing at my desk), an owl-themed water bottle, a tiny Captain America and a tiny Tardis (it's bigger on the inside, guys). You'll also notice my multi-colored keyboard which has a bunch of shortcuts for Final Cut Pro. That's the software we used in school and it helps get me by for the minimal amount of editing that I do. Our hyper-talented professional editors use much more sophisticated software from the Adobe Suite in addition to stupidly-complex 3D programs. However, nobody has a prettier keyboard than me! So yeah...there's that.
Finally, I have a fortune that has been at my desk since Year One at OH: "Endurance and persistence will be rewarded." Oh and my lucky numbers are 5, 8,16, 24, 32, 46. If you use them to win the lottery please kindly consider giving me just 1% (only if you win like over a million though, okay?).
Next up is my bookshelf. It has a wide assortment of bobbleheads and figurines. My favorite bobbleheads are probably Einstein (from the Air & Space Museum), the Vikings player (he typically has a tiny paper bag over his head depending on how horrible they are playing), South Carolina Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley (one of my all-time fav wbb players and holy crap how about those Gamecocks this season) and my buddy Maury Wills (last bobblehead on the right...I'll write about Mr. Wills in another blog someday).
There's also a framed pic of my fur babies Lola and Leo back there- and let me just say for the record I don't think I've ever written a blog about my bulldogs...BUT GUYS I TOTALLY COULD BECAUSE THEY ARE AMAZING. There is also a license plate from Kansas State when they won three Big 12 Championships in 2003 (Football, Volleyball and Women's Basketball).
My middle shelf has a little bit of this and a little bit of that. A few free towels from games I've attended, a stuffed Dory from Geoff who reminds me to "Just Keep Swimming," my Five Years of Awesomeness football from Old Hat, some ticket stubs from my undergrad at K-State, a few DVDs that my better half told me to get out of the house because they were duplicates (so I brought them to work, HA take that, #winning) and a couple of DVDs that were used in video projects (it was odd watching The Big Chill at work where people could see my computer). My favorite thing on this shelf is probably my Minnesota Twins Homer Hanky.
And finally, if anybody needs to borrow some Kansas State or Big 12 WBB media guides from like 2000-2006 I'm your lady. These were more items I was instructed to get out of the house. I've found that the office is the perfect place for all of my old media credentials. I also have a rocking Wilson Phillips CD and Taylor Dane cassette tape. I just need to find a cassette player...
"Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth. Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood, that we are bound together in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong. We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead. We are bound and we are bound."
Those are the opening lyrics to James Taylor's "Shed a Little Light." It is a really powerful song and one that I've been listening to a lot over the last several months. As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr today chances are you'll hear one of the most recognized refrains in history, "I have a dream." The NBA has a new video called "Barrier Breakers" that utilizes Dr. King's most famous speech coupled with imagery of various barrier breakers in NBA history.
I think it's a great video, but there's something about it that makes me want something more. Something more than a historical speech with historical pictures. My critique and expectations for certain videos has changed as I get older. There's a constant creative confict I have in my head between "keeping it simple, stupid" and "the need to go outside of the box." I think this video is pretty powerful and pretty simple, but I think it's something we've all seen before. So I pose two questions to you: Do we get to a point where this style of video loses its effectiveness? Or are some visuals, some words simply impervious to becoming a cliche? I don't know the answer.
I also think there are more ways to produce a video than old photos with the "Ken Burns fx" (aka slow zooms and pans of photographs) and black and white video. I really like both of these videos that utilize motion graphics and kinetic type:
2014 has been a busy year for me at Old Hat. I have been fortunate to work on close to 300 projects this past year. One of my favorite parts about working for Old Hat is the variety of clients I get to work with. It is always fun and interesting to collaborate with the clients and our designers to bring their vision to life. In 2014 I was able to work with many great people across 29 different organizations. Here's a small sampling of the many great projects I got to work on in 2014.
Bethune-Cookman Football Poster
Charlotte Poster Template
Duke Cameron Indoor Stadium Commemorative Logo
ECU Undaunted Campaign Videos
Florida State Men's Basketball Poster
Marist ESPN3 Broadcast Animation
Minor League Baseball Cap Poster
Yale Kids Club Logo
I'm already excited about projects planned for 2015 and can't wait for another great year!
There comes a time in every person's life when you just have to sit down and figure out some things about yourself. Today I asked myself some questions dare I say I've been too afraid to ask. For example, "What's your Britney pregame anthem?" I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I'm going to answer honestly. (FYI- the answer is "Toxic")
Being a sports fan is fun! A lot of what Old Hat works with our clients on is creating products to enhance the fan experience. Recently I've been fortunate to work on a few in venue entertainment games for Wright State and the University of Florida.
Wright State wanted to create a version of the Derby to use on their main videoboard at their basketball games. We used photos of their men's and women's basketball head coaches as well as their mascot to create the drivers for their race, The Raider Rally Derby, and created three different race outcomes.
The University of Florida also wanted to create a Derby race to use on their main videoboard at a variety of sporting events. They chose to use their men's basketball head coach, women's basketball head coach, and women's gymnastics coach as the drivers. They also opted to create another version of the Derby using three other athletic department staff members for a second set of drivers. They also tied in a sponsor element to their race and branded it as The SunTrust Gator Derby.
Lastly, we also created a fun shuffle animation for the University of Florida that was created to look like it was taking place on Florida's basketball court. This shuffle also tied in a sponsor and was branded as The Kangaroo Express Shuffle.
Keeping fans entertained and having fun at sporting events is an important piece to them coming back to future events. You can check out some of the other in game entertainment projects we've worked on here:
When you go to a game, what do you pay attention to? Probably depends on your background and what you're interested in. Coaches and current or former players might watch the action differently than an average fan, maybe watching plays develop or the action away from the ball. An administrator might look at the atmosphere, the crowd reaction or how well the event is staffed. Kids might watch the mascot one moment and something completely random the next. A cheerleader might watch that game's cheerleaders or dance team. A musical person might concentrate on the music played over the speakers or the band.
For me, having worked as a public address announcer for more than 20 years, I pay attention to the announcer. Are they speaking clearly and easy to understand? What type of style do they have? How is the sound in relation to the crowd noise, speakers and music? Having worked some as a photographer, I'm looking for a unique angle and the lighting. I also look at the presentation and how things flow - how smooth the timeouts and fan contests go. I'm also big on their graphics, on anything from the scoreboard to the programs and signage. My wife finds it funny that we as designers analyze the fonts and color choices in a TV commercial, but that's what we do. It is important to know what others are doing and what the trends are, to continue to grow.
That advice applies to anything. Pay attention to others in your field and see how they do things, good and bad. Use what you find to improve your skills. Never stop seeking to grow. If you want to get better, never stop learning.
Guys, I'm not going to lie, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is basketball season and I'm staggering towards it. Like Stevie said in an earlier blog post, our brains are pretty fried and full of highlights at this point in early November. I'll add that my brain is pretty fried on emails and questions too. I'm told those are the joys of being in charge. So in conclusion, I'll wrap up this futile attempt at clever writing and let one of our 2014-15 basketball intros do all of the talking:
Old Hat has been working hard on basketball projects for the past several months. Now that basketball season is upon us, we're getting to see a lot of those completed projects in action. From posters, to tickets to player features, intro videos and many other kinds of projects in between, we've been busy! One of my favorite parts about being located in Greensboro, NC, is that I'm in driving distance to a lot of our clients. One of those clients is Duke. We've been fortunate to have worked with Duke on a lot of their basketball print, branding, video and animation projects for this upcoming season. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go over to Duke's Countdown to Craziness event with my family this past weekend and see a lot of those pieces in person.
Cameron Indoor Stadium is definitely one of the coolest sports venues I've been too. We arrived in time to watch some of the fun student entertainment prior to the team scrimmage and dunk contest, which also gave me some time to check out the schedule cards and roster cards that Old Hat designed.
The part of Countdown to Craziness that I was most excited about was getting to see the animation work we created for Duke's team intro video. We worked with Duke to create three unique animations to be projected onto the court. The first animation was a series of their 4 championship banners that dropped down while video clips of their national chamionship celebrations played. The second animation was two separate banners to help introduce the team before they took the court. The third and most involved animation was created to help bring the court to life. We created a series of 3D cubes and effects to make the the floor move and come alive. We built upon that design and created a series of cubes that rotated across the court to display many different images from Duke Basketball's storied history. Combining our animation work with the videos Duke created gave the crowd at Countdown to Craziness quite the show! You can check the projects out here as well as see how they were used at the event: