Brickyard VFX has mixed CG and archival basketball footage for the 2009 NBA Finals ad campaign.

kobeshaq_4Entitled “Elevated Moments,” the 30-second spots promote the upcoming 2009 NBA Final Championship Series with iconic moments in basketball history. The ads, which open in empty stadiums that gradually fill with cheering crowds, are powerful and balletic, slowing down the action and fading the players in and out of each shot.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris of Bob Industries directed the four-spot campaign. It features NBA superstars Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Dr. J, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal.

Working from archival photos provided by the NBA, Brickyard VFX assembled photo-real CG stadium backgrounds for the ads, recreating the historical location from each iconic moment to seamlessly match with the camera angles in the original game footage.

“Recreating the Boston Garden for the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson spots was particularly challenging since it’s no longer standing,” said Brickyard VFX Executive Producer Kirsten Andersen.



Brickyard also provided previz to establish timing and camera tracking angles for the ads, along with extensive rotoscoping of players, referees, equipment and crowd elements, along with final compositing. “We created a matte painting of the floor so we could remove shadows and reflections from the crowds, and then inserted CG reflections from the empty arena,” Andersen explained. “The trick was to find a way to integrate the background plate into the look of the original footage. Each spot demanded a different technique.”


Each spot builds excitement for the final championship games with the question “Where will amazing happen this year?” and ends with the “Where amazing happens” tag and NBA logo.

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Client: NBA
Title: “Elevated Moments”
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Creative Director: Jamie Barrett
GCDs: Ari Weiss, Stefan Copiz
Art Director: Devin Sharkey, Stefan Copiz
Copywriter: Craig Mangan, Ari Weiss, Jamie Barrett
Executive Producer: Tod Puckett
Producer: Timothy Plain
Production Company: Bob Industries
Director: Dayton/Faris
Visual Effects: Brickyard VFX
VFX Supervisor: Geoff McAuliffe
VFX Executive Producer: Kirsten Andersen
VFX Producer: Amy Appleton
Lead 2D Compositing: Geoff McAuliffe
2D Compositing: Jimi Simmons, Sean McLean
Lead Rotoscope Artist: Gina Downing
Rotoscope Artists: Sean Carroll, Henrique Ghersi, Anu Liikkanen, Charles
LaPage, Jessica Jacobson, Rory Fitzgerald, Jeremy Brown, Roto Factory
Lead CG Artists: Robin Hobart, Rusty Ippolito
CG Artist: Vinny LaCour
Tracking: Brian Morse, Chris Kwiatkowski
Sound Design: Brian Emrich, Eben Carr, Rohan Young
Final Mix: Rohan Young
Final Music: Fly by Ludicio Eiunaudi

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