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Company Develops Unique Virtual Set For Comprehensive Campaign
Shooters Post & Transfer (www.shootersinc.com), the full-service creative post house, stepped up big-time for MASN, (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network), the Baltimore, MD-based regional sports network owned jointly by the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, handling the production with a cast of real fans, and the complex post production that centered on creating intricate 3D virtual sets that evoked the iconic look of Camden Yards and Nationals Park -- the home stadiums for Orioles and Nationals respectively. The 20-spot branding campaign was created by the Washington, DC-based agency Rosenthal Partners, and directed by Peter Churchman of Churchman Productions, Ardmore, PA.
"This campaign has its origins in fandom, starting with blog entries that asked fans to write their favorite Orioles or Nationals moment," Dick Goggin, MASN's Consultant for Creative and Marketing, said. "The original idea for the TV campaign was to shoot in a big studio and build replicas of the stadium scoreboards, but Shooters convinced me they had the resources in production, 3D animation design and graphics, as well as post to handle it all digitally. I was skeptical at first, but they were right."
Instead of building physical sets, the Shooters creative team, led by Ed Mendez, Visual Effects Supervisor from Shooters' film division DIVE, proposed to shoot the fans on a smaller greenscreen stage and create a virtual sets in 3D for creative and budget reasons.
"The virtual set allowed us to composite the fans into the scene, and because we shot digitally we were also able to take all the camera data and use that to make the scenes perfect in terms of lighting, shadows and perspective," Mendez said. "The other advantage was the control we had on these complicated VFX driven spots. Partnering with Churchman Productions ensured that the client got want they wanted and the budget was not blown because something was shot incorrectly."
The challenges in production were technical and practical -- namely how to make certain everything worked seamlessly in post, and how to shoot some 20 fans, not actors, in three days. The schedule meant they would need to film about eight fans each day, with about an hour for each. Shooters tapped Director Peter Churchman, who is known for his network work with real people, for the project.
"Peter had a great way with the fans and got them to open up, be natural and tell their stories in a compelling way," Carolyn Jefferson, Executive Producer -- Production said. "Between the casting, shooting, the logistics, the shoot and post there was a lot of moving parts on this project, but because of the fully-integrated production and post workflow at Shooters everything came together seamlessly."
Adds Goggin, "MASN has a long history with Shooters, and this is the biggest project to date. It was a unique project and they excelled greatly. The campaign has been well received by both our fans and from everyone at MASN, and Shooters deserves a lot of credit for it turning out as well as it did."
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. Shooters offer these services in SD, HD, 2K, 4k, RED and Viper. The company also has a content division that produces Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible."
Based in Philadelphia, DIVE (www.the-dive.net), is a visual effects and film finishing house led by veteran Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Forker - most recently Visual Effects Supervisor at Digital Domain, Los Angeles. The new company will focus on providing the film community with visual effects, digital intermediates, and titles.
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Client: MASN, Baltimore, MD
Project: "Defining Moments" branding campaign (20 x :30)
Agency: Rosenthal Partners, Washington, DC
Production: Churchman Productions, Ardmore, PA (in association with Shooters Post & Transfer):
Director: Peter Churchman
Visual Effects/Post Production: Shooters Post & Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
Visual Effects Supervisor: Ed Mendez
Executive Producer: Carolyn Jefferson
VFX Artists: Jeremy Fernsler & Kevin Fanning
Sound Design: Mike Taylor
Post Producer: Mark Reidenauer