Rhino Director Harry Dorrington is exploring new terrain with a sketch-based animated :30 and digital “ribbon” promoting the rich academic opportunities at the University of Texas at Arlington. The agency is Lipman Hearne in Chicago, IL. The work was especially notable given its primary showcase: the new and much-heralded Cowboys Stadium, the largest domed stadium in the world.
The spot features a vibrant color palette, based on the school’s colors, and illustrates the possibilities that an education at the University of Texas at Arlington makes possible through a continually morphing animated landscape of scientists, engineers, heath care workers, athletes and related icons.
A detailed storyboard and script from Lipman Hearne was supplied to Rhino with an orange-and-blue color scheme featuring the various university departments to feature in the spot. The studio worked with real-life subjects to understand the different aspects of the university, but Dorrington chose the camera type and angles and created the design and transitions. “The design aspects were just as challenging as the creative, given the difficulties of formatting to the variety of screens at the new stadium,” he says.
Mr. Dorrington felt that it was imperative to visit the massive new stadium in person to understand the technological sophistication of the stadium’s entertainment system. The 2800 monitors of varying sizes required Dorrington to produce versions of the spot in different formats. The :30 had to be formatted to fit both 1920 x 1080 resolution in 16 x 9 horizontal screen format and 1080 x 1920 in vertical format.
In order to efficiently meet the tight timeframe, Rhino created a canvas much larger than necessary, then reframed the 3D camera for easy adaptation to the vertical screens. Content created for the vertical signage had to be rotated 90 degrees clockwise so that the content appeared to be playing sideways; once the crew loaded the video and played it on the vertical display, it appeared in the correct orientation.
Next, the spot had to be re-imagined into a :60 to stream on a 1.2km ribbon screens that surround the stadium’s end zones and sidelines. For this, Rhino mined various elements from the traditionally formatted video and rendered the footage to different sizes to fit the stadium’s two ribbon screens: 11248 w x 48 h pixels for the STAR LED that hugs the sidelines and 2496 w x 48 h pixels for the STAR LED along each end zone. They then combined these snippets with bold scrolling letters spelling out various themes that pay off the campaign theme “Be Unbranded,” – to create a piece that could easily deliver a message to the stadium’s raucous crowds.
Dorrington notes, “This is a colossal stadium, and you need a very bold piece to fit an atmosphere that is often so loud that is drowns out any audio. The story and words had to make sense without auditory cues. Our crew did a stupendous job bringing all of these elements together and creating a beautiful piece.”
Since its launch in 2000, Rhino has created award-winning visual effects, design, and animation for commercials, VFX for feature films, episodic television, webisodic mini-series, and videogame cinematics. The company’s principals and artists have also led the industry’s exploration into the boundless potential of branded digital content. By cultivating extensive relationships with key brands, advertising agencies, and film/TV studios, Rhino utilizes its creative directors and artists to develop and execute powerful branded entertainment to build both identity and awareness. The company’s principals include: CD/Director Vico Sharabani, CD/Director Harry Dorrington, CD/Director Natasha Saenko, COO/EP Camille Geier, Managing Director Rick Wagonheim, and CEO North America Zviah Eldar.
Spot Title: UNBRANDED :30 HD Spot, :30 HD Vertical Spot, :60 Ribbon Animation
Air Date: September 2009
Client: University of Texas at Arlington
Agency: Lipman Hearne
Creative Directors : Libby Morse, Steve Brodwolf
Writer: Jeff Terry
Producer: Ron Rosenthal
Production Manager: Chris Olstad
Account Director: Jessica Gallagher
Director: Harry Dorrington
Animation Supervisor: Jerry Van der Beek
Layout and Editorial: Marc Steinberg
Production Manager: Dorit Avganim
Producer: Karen Bianca Bisignano
COO/Sr. EP: Camille Geier
Managing Director: Rick Wagonheim
CEO: Zviah Eldar
Music: Catfish Music/Chicago
Joel Raney/Jeff Boyle