After one full season of playing in an empty stadium due to COVID restrictions, it was time to bring fans back to the arena. The Tri-City Americans came to us to create an epic hype video to get fans excited and immersed in the experience. The video needed to capture the excitement and energy of the live game experience and serve as a rallying cry to get the crowd united behind the team.
Creating the Concept
Historically, the opening video has been old game highlights set to a soundtrack while fans get to their seats before the game. Because this would be the first time fans would be in attendance in over a year, we wanted to give them something new and different. This started with the script – we’d tell a story following the team mascot, a bald eagle, as it passes landmarks in the area, freezing the river and region with ice and snow, on its way to the Toyota Center.
Bringing the Concept to Life
To pull off these shots, we went out with a drone early in the morning at blue hour, then took the footage into After Effects to track in and animate all the snow, ice, fog, and eagle.
We tie this storyline to the team and fanbase in attendance by using bold narration and cross-cuts to some dramatic, cinematic shots of the team. To pull off those shots, we brought in a fog machine and filled the teams' practice arena then filmed the team going through actions in slow motion and backlit them to create menacing silhouettes.
Writing the Concept
Lastly, we wanted to make each game's intro video unique. We created a donut hole in the script to specifically call out the opponent of each game. It’s a simple narration in the edit. By creating multiple versions of the video, it was a cool way to get the home crowd united behind a common foe AND make for a more memorable experience for opposing teams, too.
By utilizing visual effects, dramatic lighting, camera movement, and a story that brings it all together, this video delivered on being epic, exciting, and unlike anything the client had ever done before.