Production 920’s director/DP John Taggart provides creative spark for NIKEGRIDIRON.com. Looking to step up the cinematic look of the intimate and insightful NFL player profiles found on Nike ambitious website NIKEGRIDIRON.com, acclaimed interactive agency R/GA turned to production company Production 920, New York and director/DP John Taggart to provide the creative spark and production know-how to bring the project to a higher level.
An online training and product destination for high school football players, NIKEGRIDIRON.com inspires and mentors users with instructions and tips from collegiate coaches, pros, and trainers in football, while digital training tools, advergames and video player profiles deliver dynamic branded content that integrates with Nike current advertising campaign.
To produce two of the four films featured on the site ‘Brian Urlacher and Champ Bailey’ R/GA teamed with Production 920 and John Taggart, who also directed and DP’sd the film about Champ Bailey. “They wanted the films to have a gritty documentary feel but with the kind of creativity and production values you don’t normally associate with web-based content,” said Taggart.
NIKEGRIDIRON.com represents only the latest project from Production 920 in the branded content/multimedia realm. The company expertise in this emerging market can be found in projects such as last year The Apprentice season finale featuring an embedded Pontiac Solstice ad directed by Taggart, WE Cinematherapy/Pontiac G6 tie-in, American Eagle kiosk imagery and SBC Home Court Webisodes featuring NBA All-Stars.
Finding Great Moments
Each of the four short films follows an NFL superstar as he returns to the small town where he got his first taste of football. Through interviews with friends, coaches and the players themselves, the films paint an intimate and compelling portrait of how they got to where they are today. For the Champ Bailey film, Taggart and the Production 920 crew went with him to his hometown of Folkstown, GA and received a personal tour from the Denver Broncos star cornerback.
To create the filmic look of the film Taggart shot both 24p digital video using the Panasonic SDX900 and 16mm using a Bolex camera. In addition, Taggart also had a still photographer on-hand capturing the action.
“We had only one day to shoot this and Champ for just a few hours so the challenge for us was simply getting everything done in a day while also finding opportunities to do something creative,’ said Taggart.
One of those moments came right when Champ was rushing off to get to the airport. “It was an extremely hot day and we were shooting on his old high school football field, I grabbed the Bolex and just started walking in circles around him. It turned out to be a great shot.”
Taggart creative influence on the project could also be felt during the film-to-tape transfer when he at times would ‘pull the rack’ so that the outside edges of the film could be seen; and in his decision to use a reel of film that had accidentally been exposed to an airport x-ray machine leaving a subtle ‘ghosting’ quality to the images.
“The overall effect gives the film a kind of ‘found in the attic’ quality that works well with the look of the website,” said Taggart. “This project tested us on a lot of different levels and I’sm proud of how it turned out.”
Production 920 Names Eha Rep
In other Production 920 news, the company has named Michael Eha their East Coast sales rep. Eha will focus on further developing director/DP John Taggart in the advertising market, particularly in the automotive and lifestyle/fashion sectors.
“We built our reputation on doing great work in as many areas as we could,” said John Taggart. “We always thought why not do it all? Why not direct commercials and network promos as well as TV segments, marketing content and spots for the web and broadband. The bottom line is that we know production and I believe all of these projects benefit from the level of creative and production experience we can bring to them. Hopefully with the help of Michael Eha, we’ll be able to show advertising agencies along the East Coast what a valuable resource Production 920 is.”
About Production 920:
Founded in 1996 by directors/DPs John and Sarah Taggart, who both began their careers in the creative hothouse that is MTV, Production 920 enjoys a well-earned reputation for bringing creative vision and production expertise to a wide array of work including traditional advertising, long and short form television, cutting edge branded content creation and webisodes, music videos and independent film. The company recent work includes a promo for MTV Europe Music Awards featuring Sascha Baron Cohen (aka da Ali G), a live A-Ha performance at New York Irving Plaza shot with nine cameras and a TV pilot created by 920 called Eastern Standard Time hosted by Kurt Loder and featuring Marilyn Manson.