"This spot was a lot more complicated then one might think at first look," says Mark Farkas, Shooters director of post production/senior editor. "It's essentially two different sequences, shot at separate times with different frame-rates and film-speeds. It required some precise planning to pull off, as well as some intricate compositing and rotoscoping work."
"Be The Hero," created in-house by Dicks Sporting Goods, centers on a confident looking catcher, seen in full color, moments before a big game. We see him stride purposefully in slow motion from the clubhouse to behind the plate while around him is a swirl of fast-motion action as his teammates, seen in black and white, get ready for the game. A voiceover, delivered like a pep talk from an unseen coach, captures the drama in reverberated tones: "who is going to be the hero tonight? Somebody has to make a play to make a difference. Be the one. Make that difference," as specific products from Rawlings, Nike and Adidas worn by the black and white players appear in color. The spot ends just as the catcher gets into position behind the plate, and full-color suddenly fills the screen for the first time as the ump yells "Play Ball." From the perspective of behind the plate we see the entire baseball field, with the Dick's Sporting Goods logo, as well as others like Nike and Adidas, adorning the centerfield wall.
The last image we see is the created end tag, appearing as a mysterious green vortex of baseball imagery -- in the center are the words "Be the one" followed by the Dick's logo.
"Dick's to their credit wanted to do a spot that was creative and conceptual," Odiorne says. "Dick's wanted to capture that pre-game moment all great athletes have where they are intensely focused. They wanted to talk to athletes in a powerful way."
Although Odiorne comes from a postproduction background, he knew this spot was fraught with potential problems and asked Farkas and editor Chris Magliozzo to be on set during the shoot to answer questions and troubleshoot any potential problems.
"I've been a director long enough to know that things sometimes go wrong on even the tightest-run productions, I wanted a little insurance and having Chris and Mark on set was key to that," Odiorne adds. "They spotted several things during the production that saved us a ton time and money."
To create the effect of the two simultaneous moments happening at different speeds, Odiorne shot the hero catcher against a greensceen at faster than normal frame rates -- ranging from 40 to 90 fps (frames per second) -- thus giving the appearance of him moving slowly compared to the shots of the other players around him that were shot at a traditional 24 fps. In post, the footage of the catcher was rotoscoped out and composited into the shots of the other players, to complete the effect. In addition to the main composites, the spot also highlights four distinct pieces of equipment, which appear in color while players themselves remain in black and white. The effect was created by rotoscoping the equipment, coloring it and compositing it back into the original scene.
"This one of those projects were some math was involved," Magliozzo says. "Because of the various film speeds we needed to specifically map out the screen times so that when we got to post everything would sync the way Peter envisioned it."
For senior producer Wade Echer, getting involved before the camera rolled was key "It is always was good to be part of the process early, everything fell into place as planned during post. Could we have pulled this off without our involvement in the planning? Of course, but it definitely wouldn't have been as smooth a process as it turned out."
This spot is another illustrative example of the Shooters 'boutique facility' philosophy centered on operating like a boutique in terms of talent and the creative process, but also having the technical advantages, efficiencies and horsepower of a facility.
About Shooters Post & Transfer:
Shooters Post & Transfer (www.shootersinc.com) blends talent, technology and customer service to provide a superior level of quality and creativity. Shooters' client base consists of ad agencies, production companies, filmmakers, television and cable networks, political consultants, PR firms, and corporations. Capabilities include Spirit 2K film transfer w/ Bones data, da Vinci 2k Plus w/Colorist Toolbox; Resolve Digital Cinema Suite, six Inferno/Smoke2k suites, nine Avid non-linear edit, four final cut suites, CGI and graphic design, Flame, three surround sound audio suites, audio recording studio, film, HD and video crews and studio. The company also has a visual effects and film finishing division DIVE and produces Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible."
Client: Dick's Sporting Goods
Project: "Be The Hero" (:30)
Airdate: March 2009
Agency: Dick's Sporting Goods -- In House
Production: Sleeping Tree Films, Ardmore, PA; New York
Director: Peter Odiorne
Post: Shooters Post & Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
VFX Supervisor/Smoke/Inferno Artist: Mark Farkas
VFX Supervisor/Editor: Chris Magliozzo
Sr. Producer: Wade Echer
Sound Design: Mike Taylor
Graphic Artist: Mike Mullen
Inferno Artist: Michael Furey
Colorist: Janet Falcon
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