Little Big Man

The time of the year where the boys of Summer becomes the heroes of the Fall!

Always amazing to work for Major League Baseball Network during this time of the year facing the Post Season. MLB wanted to bring the excitement of baseball back to the kids and found players, so under this parameter we came up with the idea to go inside the sentiments and imagination of every Major Leaguer when they were kids, practicing and playing in their Little League fields.

The transformation from the kids into Major Leaguer was defined by morphing the actors on green screen and working with their coaches to mimic as close as possible the movements of the MLB players on their game footage and make the morph more viable.

I didn't wanted to have just a morph on these scenes fearing that would be too predictable so I decided to transform the background as well from a Little League Stadium to their counterpart Major League. I worked directing a talented team of 3D artist that modeled, rigged and textured the Dodgers Stadium and the Blue Jays dugout in record time.

On the finishing side, a phase of Color Grading was crucial in making the piece consonant with the beautiful narrative stablished by writer guru Greg Jennings. While all the shots were done in mid-Summer, we needed to transfer the scenes into Fall, so changing every single sky and trees were part of the task.

Including all rotoscoping, shooting, editing, 3D modeling, texturing and animation, graphics, color correction and grading... the piece was done in the record time of two and a half weeks. 

Another Emmy Win!

What an amazing night at the 36th Annual gala of the Sports Emmy Awards. Had the blessing of being recognized by the Academy as Best Creative Director in the category of Outstanding Production Design / Art Direction with the Hall of Heroes piece I directed for MLB Networks. Thank you very much for the great work and congratulations to everyone in the talented team that made this possible:

Senior Creative Director:
Miguel Oldenburg

Creative Director:
Chris Pfeiffer

Production Designers:
Paul Badilla, Frank Baglino, Andrew Batti, Dale Boyce, Chris Burns, Jose Felipe Cortes, Tony Ferraiolo, Ben Friedfeld, John Gardner, James Grieco, Greg Jennings, Jianchao Lee, Ulysses Millan, Eric Neason, Nick Novelli, Frank Petterson, Sebastian Ruz, Jason Strougo, Tomas Tasza.

ESPN Women's Basketball Championship

My team was presented with the challenge to design and execute the campaign look for the NCAA Women's Basketball in about a week! The direction from ESPN was to create an editorial driven idea with a dramatic feel.

The client wanted a series of graphic tools to enhance the footage body of each spot without overpowering the frames and an End Card mechanism with design longevity that could be used during the entire season with few updates. The client also had the concern of the amount of information they needed to place in these end cards, where sometimes 4 games tune-in info is displayed in the same spot.

My approach was to generate a clean minimalistic look with a big negative space for the elements to have a quick reading. The idea evolved into creating a Basketball court made out of glass, this way, not having solid objects left open spaces with transparencies and an uncluttered feel.

On this project I worked with the talented Eddie Wiseman developing the conceptual boards, then with Dale Boyce and Cesar Delarosa creating the 3D space, models and camera moves in Maya, to finally take it into the Flame for the finishing; here I added a dramatic ethereal feel of blues and purple fogged lines and structured the text content.

Couldn't be more happier with the results of my team in such a tight time frame. It's a privilege to work with such a talented group with an unison mindset about creating stunning visuals and delivering on time.

Shooting for the Masters

With ESPN I had the opportunity to go inside the exclusive Masters Club House in Augusta Georgia to direct a shoot for their current 2015 promotional golf campaign. The idea was to create a elegant piece showing an intimate view of what only the Masters winners can enjoy inside the club: The Masters Locker Room.

The Augusta club certainly has an aura of tradition and history engraved in names like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods but also members like President Eisenhower which had his own desk at the main room. The challenge as Director was to capture the tone of these traditions for the piece while shooting with a skeleton crew and under rigorous rules and norms from the Club... and yes, I had to go buy and wear a pair of khakis!

We shot with the new Arri Amira which gave us decent results in a compact setup. Once in post, the piece was edited by my talented friend Chris Wagner under the eye of Kevin Sullivan and Geoff Bird from ESPN. When the edit was in place I took it into the Flame for the finishing, which included all sort of detailing work such as skies replacement, cleaning all the imperfections, dents and scratches from the trophy and name plates, light flicker removals, eliminating props and reflections of rigs on the glass of the cabinets, adding light rays and flares to the window lights and creating a final color grading to reflect a warm look of aged traditions.

Check out this Before and After side by side...

The spot will be running the month of March on ESPN.