Panasonic, Final Cut Help Push Fantasy for NFL.com
By John Rice
Four new commercials currently airing feature NFL players performing rather miraculous feats to encourage fans to “pick me” for their fantasy football leagues. Each spot in “The NFL.com Fantasy Files,” produced by New York-based Blue Room, is a single shot, handheld, captured using the Panasonic AG-HVX200 HD camcorder.
“Last year, when the camera came out, we gave it a try on one of the shoots,” says Blue Room president and CEO Chris Gargani, who served as executive producer on the project. “We were blown away by the quality.” This year, all four of the Blue Room spots used the Panasonic camera.
The spots were cut using Final Cut Pro and After Effects. Cleanup work was done with Mocha, and the final versions were delivered in both SD and HD versions.
This marks the third year that Blue Room has created spots to drive traffic to the NFL.com fantasy site. “The concept began as an on-the-practice-field situation [in past campaigns]”, explains Gargani. “It evolved this year to taking it out into the streets. The response has been tremendous.”
In the current spots, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Chris Chambers, Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney, and Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby each demonstrate a “skill” as a reason to be selected for your fantasy team.
Cooley catches a pass by punching through dry-wall in a house under construction. Maroney jumps through the open windows of a car. Chambers catches three passes in rapid succession, behind his back. And
rings the bell of the Green Bay Courthouse, three times — at
Blue Room’s Brian Aumueller served as creative director. “We really captured the athletes doing extraordinary things,” he says. “We try to work with players who have the right stats — who people would want to have on their fantasy teams — players with larger-than-life personalities that would come through. We really let them be themselves.”
The spots were written by Jonathan Klein, head of marketing for NFL UK,
who has been involved in all three years of production with Blue Room. Gargani explains, “We collaborate with him to figure out what stunts we can pull off with these guys.”
Says Aumueller, “These are small shoots. One camera, maybe a sound guy, and a couple of people. The players just show up — and they are great!”