Bicoastal Habana Avenue displayed elegant agility when it produced â€œNine Lives,â€? the highly stylized, rock-n-roll open for ESPNâ€™s â€œNBA Sundayâ€? starring Tim McGraw and Def Leppard. The open is airing now on regular season games and will continue through the NBA Playoffs.
In â€œNine Lives,â€? clips of NBA players, fans in the stands and action on the court are intercut with footage of McGraw and Def Leppard tracked by atmosphere-slicing moving lights and the flicker of ampâ€™d-up projection beams. Logos of the teams participating in the dayâ€™s matchup are displayed side-by-side in widescreen video while ghostly players dribble the ball among the artists on a glowing basketball court/stage under black light. McGraw and Def Leppard are styled in distressed, film-style framings and in a pounding array of multi-image visuals leading to an explosive conclusion: a burst of pyro around the 3D â€œNBA Sundayâ€? logo.
Originally destined as a track for Def Leppardâ€™s new album, â€œNine Livesâ€? turned out to be a unique collaboration of country and rock artists who play together like a championship-bound NBA team. Habana Avenue line producer John Mullins was on site in a warehouse in Los Angeles during the taping. Mullins ensured that ESPN would get the performance footage it needed to cut the multi-week opens and bumpers for the â€œNBA Sundayâ€? open.
ESPN’s Chris Mantzaris was creative director for the open, which included extensive black-light effects, which brought the players and performers together in the same space. Several masterful players clad in white uniforms dribbled a basketball treated with UV-sensitive paint in between the musicians for a haunting illumination framed by UV-sensitive NBA and ESPN signage.
Valerie Fischler served as creative producer for ESPN. KJB Kiely was Habana Avenueâ€™s art director. Steven J. Levy was executive producer. The segments were edited at Vidiots in New York City.
About Habana Avenue
Habana Avenue is a full-service TV, film, live event and concert-experience production company and an original content creator. The company has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miamiâ€™s South Beach and Tampa. It maintains a boutique postproduction facility in Tampa and has postproduction partnerships with the full-service Mad Toy Box Post in Charlotte, North Carolina and Vidiots in New York City. For more information visit www.HabanaAvenue.com or call 877.Habana0 â€“ 877.422.2620.