I was appointed by Major League Baseball Network, to work on an idea for the opening of their World Baseball Classic event. This competition is played in a group stage with sixteen teams competing in four pool. With each of those pools happening in a different city around the World.
The creative challenge was to come up with a solution to display all these pools into one cohesive open, no longer than forty five seconds long, and to do all this in a spam of three to four weeks, and with a limited budget.
While researching on the venues, I was struck by the beauty and unique architecture of the four stadiums featured in these pools. This led me to present the client with a spin on the popular show "A Game of Thrones", the idea was to make a version where the cameras fly by the different countries where the pools are located, and show stylized replicas of their stadiums animating around city landmarks. The piece continues with the camera flying over Tokyo and San Diego, the cities where the semifinals would take place, and then ends on the stylized Dodgers stadium in Los Angeles for the final game. The World Baseball Classic logo animates over the stadium drifting on a golden hour sky.
In the design, I added large flags of the countries participating in each pool surrounding the stadiums, and surrounded each city with a selection of geometrically stylized landmarks, like the Mount Fuji, the Tokyo Tower, and the Sky Tree in Japan; the Catedral de Jalisco and the Arcos de Guadalajara in Mexico; the N-Tower and pagodas in Soul; and the Bank of America Tower, and neon feel of Miami.
From the production process, the project was a lot of fun. I've got to do research on most of these cities and draw geometrical abstractions of their landmarks to create the stylized miniature world for the piece.
All these interpretations were taken by a talented team of modelers and animators who created them in a miniature like 3D world. I created a story board for the sequence highlighting the key elements of the structures, and top give the open a clear baseball feel, we added large screens behind each stadium projecting footage of prominent baseball players.
I worked with the support of Reveal Entertainment animators who were able to turn this piece around in such tight timeframe. Special thanks to John Alexander for the creation of the models, and Eddie Wiseman for making the cohesive choreography and final animation. The team used Cinema 4D, After Effects, and the Autodesk Flame Premium package to deliver the piece.
Along the process we streamlined the workflow to maximize the time given to finish the piece. The communication line from client, to creative director, to the artists, was very efficient in the sense all notes and adjustments during the design stage were compiled and organized as a prioritized list for the team. In order to avoid any time costly misunderstandings, For each design I made graphic notes for the artists so the changes and revisions were clear tasks.
The final music was scored by the talented composer Uly Millan, creating a festive classical fanfare with an Olympic feel. Uly adjusted the generic theme he wrote for the event into a cutdown version for the opening, adjusting the timing of the beat to match the cut feel and adding some great musical hits to accentuate some of the actions in the scenes.
The finishing, the beauty pass, and the color grading was done at Reveal in the Autodesk Flame. Here is the final piece...