August 25, 2006


Cingular wanted to pay tribute to NCAA athletes in a variety of sports. The goal was to show athletes exhibiting their strength as a metaphor to the strength of Cingular's bars and superior reception. The spot's tag line spells out the theme of the ad: "Here's to all NCAA student-athletes, past and present, setting bars and continuously raising them." The metaphor is driven home by the athletes' motion, which resembles the familiar Cingular bars on a mobile phone. 

Phasmatrope Studios shot the spot on a stage in Orlando using 35mm film. To help ensure a successful and efficient film shoot, Shooters editor Steve Wheelock worked on-site with director Peter Odiorne. The Shooters team also produced animatics for the production team to visualize how the athletes would interact with the bars.  The film was transferred to Digital Betacam and loaded into the studio's Discreet Fire system, which was used to rotoscope each of the athletes, removing them from the background. The process was challenging because footage was not captured in front of a greenscreen. Phasmatrope felt that it could achieve a more stylized lighting effect of the athletes by not using greenscreen techniques.   

In addition to having the athletes arc over the bars, the producers also wanted to achieve a media effect that showed how television technology had progressed through the ages. To accomplish the aging transformation, art director/designer Kris Magyarits devised five different treatments to simulate the early days of television up until present day. 

In order to meet the agency's tight turnaround, Shooters worked around the clock and employed five Fire and After Effects artists to complete the job in just four days. Rotoscoping, graphics and compositing was handled by Kevin Fanning, Ted Devlin, Tim Bowman and Rob Graham. Graphic design and art direction was performed by Kris Magyarits.