Using this powerful campaign as a springboard, Bandito Brothers will deliver an explosive, cinematic experience employing techniques that have become our trademark. With the coming 2010-2011 season of the NHL on Versus, we will deliver an aggressive and expressive new energy and imagery. People whoâ€™ve never even thought about hockey before will be put on notice. The fans will be beside themselves. These films will begin the discussion of the new 10/11 NHL campaign and people will be watching and re-watching them for years to come.
In setting up the tone of these films, we will call upon the history of hockey and combine it with a futuristic look in order to create a visceral now. Itâ€™s a present day visual style that is bold, eye-catching and definitive. The Terminator: Salvation and The Book of Eli both share this tonality, but in order to achieve that historic feel weâ€™d like to consider removing some of the polish and adding grain. It will be a hard-edged, de-saturated but glorious palette: the silvertinted colorlessness of the future. There are a couple of other important stylistic notes to share. We want all of the compositions to be evocative, suggestive and subjective. Our frames and subject matter will never be too on the nose. All of the finer details will allude to this great sport, without directly stating that. But at the same time, the viewer intuitively knows exactly what the visual language means. The story clarity and emotional involvement will always be spot on, especially during moments when there is a dramatic reveal. By the same token, the editorial style will be non-linear in these films. We may jump around in space and time, but by the end the audience will understand and appreciate this dynamic, exciting pace. In order to achieve this impactful storytelling, all of the elements â€“ live action footage, sound design, graphics and cutting - will work together as one synchronous high-octane campaign.
With this film we will link nostalgic imagery of the sport with the eager present day anticipation for the coming season. The images will build, but again, they are always evocative, abstract and suggestive rather then too direct or obvious. For example, we only see the legs of a kid shooting a tennis ball against a garage door, which is taped off to represent goal posts. We only see the wet resurfacer of a zamboni sliding across the ice for that final cut. Abstract close ups show a pair of hands lacing the netting into the goal frame. The fish eyed goal camera pans and zooms around an empty stadium. More images follow as the pacing escalates: that same kid shooting tennis balls is now getting his face painted. A POV shot comes up through a jersey and we look into a mirror and see a new guy, the jersey’s proud owner, pulling it on with a look of anticipation. Using the 5D camera, we’ll mount a rig behind a skate and track, in extremely close detail, the 7/16 cut from the grindstone as the sparks hit the lens. A tight close up of a beer mug on a bar, blurring in the background two teams warm up and we can feel that the national anthem is about to be sung. Through this montage, and all of these spots, the Versus announcers will help tell the story of the coming season.
They’ll talk about how the slate is clean now, every team record goes back to 0-0-0-0. Over their analysis, we’ll return to the final scoreboard of the Stanley Cup clinching game. It goes from Chicago Blackhawks 4 – Philadelphia Flyers 3, to 0-0. The skates that were once being sharpened are now walking over rubber. We’ll follow a tight close up of the puck in the referee’s hand. That same guy putting on the jersey now drives to the game, but from behind his shoulder, we only see his eyes in the rear view mirror. The rest of the frame is filmed with hyper speed, time-lapse photography. The announcer plays on his radio. We’ll climax this growing narrative with a calculated slowing down. Time will be suspended by ramping the frame speed up in a Phantom camera. A super wide angle looks directly up from center ice. We return to 24 fps as we see the looming scoreboard overhead and those dedicated faithful in the nosebleeds. Two sticks spar for precious territory in the face off circle. A referee keeps their jousting honest as long as he can until once again we ramp to 1000 fps. The puck dramatically begins its descent down into the lens. We’ll integrate this end shot with our graphic treatment to insure a huge finish. It’s all our way of boldly saying:
Hockey Lives On. Versus.
This film is a story about hats, but we will tell it in an extremely unconventional, dramatic, suggestive and original way. But first, some context: people love their hats. People get attached to their hats. People collect hats. People wear the same hat for years, even decades. We’ll see hats on the heads of average Americans doing what they do in their everyday lives. We’ll see hats on the young; hats on the old; hats on backwards; hats on straight; a fedora on an older gent; a Redwing hat on the skateboarder; dirty hat; clean hat; hats. Without overstating it, we clearly establish the hero in our story: the great American hat. Hats are the teddy bears of many grown-ups and to make someone give up their hat is a big deal. A very big deal. To dramatically highlight the importance of certain specific hats, we’ll begin by following three very special ones. Over these hats, onscreen graphics will reveal an unbelievable amount of significance. The first hat rests on a kid’s head and it doesn’t even fit him. It’s too big. The graphic accompanying this hat reads “7 years old”. The hat a hockey mom wears was “A gift from her son”. Superimposed over a tow truck driver’s hat we see the words “His father’s hat”. Once again, our camera focus is subjective and suggestive, focusing on the hat itself, just barely registering the hat owner underneath. What’s more, we’ll track these hats through time, and recognize them when we see them again later on in the film.
However, despite these hats, one of the first images in the spot is a goal light coming on, accompanied by the Versus analyst announcing that a player has scored. By juxtaposing the hat shots, with this first goal we will really see the benefit of a non-linear edit. People may not get it immediately, but very soon, they are going to start to make the connection and begin to appreciate the spot that much more.
After the goal, we’ll pick back up with our stories of the hats. We’ll see graphically that our 7 year-old kid is now “14 years old” and the hat fits perfectly. Not only has it been through a lot, it’s been signed by one of his favorite players, which we’ll also see graphically: “Signed by Sheldon Souray” (or whomever we choose). Another goal is scored, as the announcers proclaim that this is that same player’s second goal of the game. Now, we really escalate the drama of these hat stories as we see that the tow truck driver’s hat cruises in his rig in a wide shot. We’re tight in on his hat again, and we can tell he’s driving somewhere. Hockey mom’s hat, which we totally recognize, stands in line at the concessions of a state-of-the-art arena. The kid hat now rests on a 19 year old head. He’s had it for 12 years and it shows. We can see he has choice seats behind the glass as he watches the furious action on the ice. The tow truck driver hat, owned by a season ticket holder, takes the usual seat in the usual section. As always, the tow truck driver’s hat is distressed but lovable. Finally, that same player has scored his third goal of the game. He’s scored a hat trick. It’s a rare and precious moment in any player’s career. The stadium rocks and the roar of the crowd shakes the walls. At this point, we’ll use the Versus footage to see the people as they throw their hats onto the ice. The phantom 1000 fps will suspend each hat in time and space as it floats to the ice like confetti at a ticker tape parade. We ramp the frame speed up to feel the gravity and the drama. Cutting to each main character hat, we’ll feel the significance as we see each one: the kid, the tow truck driver and the hockey mom. All of these main character hats are lifted off the heads of their owner’s and thrown to the ice. It’s a very emotional moment. Stock footage shows the ice littered with hats. A final angle on the kid’s hat shows Sheldon Souray’s washed out signature as we cut to graphics.
Hockey Lives On. Versus.
No play last year symbolized the grit, sacrifice and pride regularly on display in the NHL more then Ian Laperiere’s blocked shot. And there is no company better equipped than Bandito Brothers to bring this selfless, violently courageous act to life. To stay consistent with our non-linear tone, I’d like to pepper the film with other players blocking shots. Spread the love, I say, because we want to honor all those guys. The one we’re showcasing was actually Ian’s second face block last season. Graphically supered across each blocked shots we’ll see the speeds generated by the puck: “101 mph”, “103 mph” and then, we’ll tie the record for fastest hockey slap shot: “105.4 MPH”
Intercut with these blocks, will be a graphic dissection of Ian’s play as if it had 50 cameras covering it. But we won’t know that at first. In super slow motion, again using the 1000 FPS Phantom camera, we’ll see the stick and glove of Paul Martin cocking back for a slap shot. More stock footage blocked shots, then Martin’s stick blade contorts and bends in slow motion as it slams against the ice and puck. I’d like to attach a 5D camera behind the blade, just like the skate rig shot, to really feel its kinetic velocity. As this story continues to develop, we’ll be intercutting a lot of player close-ups at 1000fps. And I mean extreme close-ups, of the actual players (if we can get them). I want to see the look in their eyes and the sweat dripping off their foreheads.
Now, we begin to see the stock footage of the Devils and Flyers playing. The sequence of ingame events develops, very innocuous at first, but then we cut to the shaft of Martin’s stick as it bends into the shot and we see every pound of torque driving behind the puck. We’ll cut to Ian’s P.O.V. in 1000 fps as the puck begins rotating directly towards the lens. In abstract close up, we see pieces of Ian’s uniform as he dives down and begins sliding into harm’s way. Time slows as we cut in on an up-close and realistically enhanced retelling of this great moment in hockey history. Finally, just before impact, we’ll flash montage a series of evocative shots that define speed and collision: jolting images like a jet car
blazing across salt flats, a bullet exploding a light bulb, a cheetah zipping along the desert, a Bonneville motorcycle dragging, a skydiver falling, an astronaut in a gyro seat and a snake striking. From these shots, we’ll cut back to the stock footage of the result of the slap shot and our graphic treatment. People will remember this film forever; it will be an instant classic. By taking one of the most seminal moments of the 2010 Stanley Cup campaign, putting it under the microscope of the Phantom, and giving it a custom Bandito spin, viewers (not just hockey fans) will go wild.
Hockey Lives On. Versus.
Thanks again for thinking of us for this campaign. We’ve created a very thorough, original and emotional vision that’s been a lot of fun to put together. It encapsulates everything we love about hockey and communicates that in an authentic, entertaining way. It’s always a long summer for the NHL, and it’s been an especially long one this year after such a memorable 2009/2010 season. I know that Versus and NHL want to take everything up a notch higher, I’m excited to be a part of that process. Let’s keep talking.
- Scott Waugh & The Bandito Brothers