Wieden + Kennedy producer Jesse Wann and Smuggler director Brian Beletic called upon PS 260 editor Maury Loeb and BRANDNAME Flame artist Colin Stackpole to craft an effects-intensive campaign heralding the NBA Playoffs on ESPN and finals on ABC. The Black Eyed Peas front these high-energy, music video-styled spots, which feature Carlos Santana and a roster of NBA legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Bill Walton.
Each of four spots headlines a different member of The Black Eyed Peas’ crew performing custom-composed tracks with a refrain made popular by their song “Let’s Get It Started.” The first spot opens with will.i.am’s rap, “Twenty-four seconds to live and 200 percent is what I gotta give.” Multilayered images of Will, a choir, dancers, Jumbotron game footage, the NBA legends and guitar great Santana appear and disappear, as if peeled away like the layers of an onion.
“Maintaining a sense of realism was key to the effects-heavy production. We didn’t want the spots to look like an assembled bunch of greenscreen shots; it was our goal to make it appear as if everyone was really living and performing together in the space,” Loeb emphasizes. “Architecturally, these spots are a real house of cards: Every element delicately relates to every other element in terms of performance and sharing screen real estate.”
Just as the ESPN campaign arrived at PS 260, the Flatiron District edit house was completing installation of five Avid Media Composer Adrenalines with 2.8 terabytes of Avid Unity centralized storage. The deadline for the spots couldn’t have been met without the efficient, flexible and seamless digital post-production environment provided by the timely upgrade. Loeb’s new Adrenaline took five minutes to render an effects sequence that would have taken his old Avid 7.2 system 54 minutes.
At BRANDNAME, Stackpole rebuilt and resized a 16-inch model to create the illusion of the enormous shot clock. Using Flame, he flipped the clock’s reflections for light burn behind the clock. He added flares from mini keychain lights and 3-D light bursts to further enhance the luminance of the countdown, created lighting passes to give glow and atmospherics, and recolored the clock’s original amber lights in the colors of the NBA. The nine lights on the sides of the set were also punched up with sparks and filters for a more atmospheric quality.
“The wipes are not straight lines,” Stackpole explains. “They’re shaped and contoured around the people. We also have lighting passes behind everyone to integrate them with the lights of the shot clock so they don’t look cut out-and-pasted at all.” He conformed the campaign on Flame adding an end tag and logo designed by Eyeball.
“PS 260 and BRANDNAME have been infinitely collaborative in putting the campaign together,” says Wieden + Kennedy producer Jesse Wann. “This has been a difficult project with a very complicated edit; it was a challenge to keep it all together. PS 260 and BRANDNAME really came through for us.”
QuickTime previews of these spots and images can be found at: http://www.ps260.com/pr.