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A52 Delivers Fox Sports College Football Campaign

“2003 College Football”

3.0 MB QuickTime Movie

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Clio Award-winning

visual effects and design company


provided design and visual effects work for

Fox Sports

‘ on-air promotions team, delivering a customizable new spot for Fox Sports’ college football broadcasts. The :30 spot first aired on July 31; it will continue airing nationwide to promote the network’s Saturday broadcasts throughout the college football season.

This project reunites Fox Sports senior vice president, director of on-air promotions and creative director Scott Bantle and Fox creative director Chris Donovan with A52 visual effects supervisor and inferno* artist Patrick Murphy — the team that designed and executed two 2003 PROMAX Platinum Award-winning spots. In addition to these Platinum wins, “MLB All-Star Game: Measuring Greatness” also earned Fox Sports two Gold PROMAX, one Silver PROMAX, five Gold BDA and one Silver BDA Award; “October’s Magical Match-Ups: Voodoo” scored another Gold PROMAX and two Silver BDA Awards.

The Project

Fox’s project creative team of director Scott Bantle and creative director Chris Donovan described the concept of the new spot for its college football broadcasts as something that might have been created by a couple of college art students who are “very into college football.” Early into the process they consulted with A52’s Patrick Murphy.

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“We have a longstanding relationship with A52, and we’ve historically had great experiences with them,” said Bantle.

“A lot of times when we go out of house, A52 is our ‘weapon of choice,’ so to speak,” added Donovan. “With Pat, we have a verbal and visual shorthand that always makes things go really smoothly, and we often go to him early in the conceptual stage of a project to get his opinion on various approaches.”

Fox’s creative called for the use of characters and elements from illustrator Arthur James appearing as though layered together and treated very artistically in a shadowbox. They wanted a specific look featuring tinfoil, an art supply even poor college art students can afford. To cement their production approach, Fox’s team worked with Murphy on a number of pre-visualization tests, including test shoots on DV and film.

One of the things the video test produced was a sheen “sparkle” that caught everyone’s eye; Murphy used the test footage to create an automated setup in

Discreet inferno*

that ultimately allowed him to apply that effect to any piece of artwork from the final filmed elements.

Stills from Previous Fox Spots
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Murphy described the process of layering the elements to create the 3D look of the spot. “Essentially, each element was separated from its background and then put into Z space,” he explained. “Once that was done, whenever the camera perspective was moved, all the elements moved in relation to each other.”

With the 3D stages created inside inferno*, Murphy then moved individual elements and various other layers to animate the story. He also varied focal lengths, used defocusing and motion blur in certain scenes, applied the sparkle effects, created transitions, created and layered-in type and did a final color-grade on the finished spot.

Murphy’s favorite aspect of the project? “By purposely placing things that were in opposition to one another — the direction and use of the rain, for example — added a certain sense of oddity to the piece,” he said. “We did not want the spot to be too polished and perfect.”

A52’s project producer Leighton Greer also served as A52’s producer on the “MLB All-Star Game” and “October’s Magical Match-Ups” spots. Rick Hassen is A52’s managing director and Darcy Leslie Parsons is executive producer. The music track is a recut of a track from Nortek Collective, and Stew Herrera provided the voiceover.