SANTA MONICA — Devastudios (http://www.devastudios.com) created the 2:40 cinematic that greets players of the new NBA 2K16 videogame title.
The Climb is an adrenaline-pumping basketball fantasy, where an up-and-comer faces off against NBA heroes. The action takes place throughout a crumbling urban landscape, where the player shakes zombie-fied NBA players on his way to an elevated basketball court. There, he squares off against a team of NBA warriors, lead by an evil Michael Jordan character. Devastudios concepted, designed, animated and produced the project for 2K and Visual Concepts.
“Anton (Dawson, 2K creative director) tracked us down because he had seen the end title sequence we created for the movie 300 Rise of An Empire,” explains Devastudios’ executive producer, John Busenberg. “He wanted a stylized cinematic for the NBA 2K16 opening that was aggressive and fun.”
To complement the overall direction that director Spike Lee created for NBA 2K16 as a whole, 2K also wanted the opening cinematic to focus on the MyPlayer feature of the game, which enables users to customize their own avatars. “They gave us the directives to keep Spike’s story in mind and to make sure that the hero had to overcome a lot of basketball adversity, and let us have at it,” notes Busenberg.
Several rounds of internal creative yielded a winning concept from Devastudios designer Jacob Gilbreath and creative director Brad Colwell. “The idea was to pit our hero against the best players in the world, and then figure out how he could win,” says Colwell. “All while the world is literally blowing up around him,”adds Gilbreath.
Throughout the course of the stylized animation, the hero manages to fake out Stephen Curry, back down Anthony Davis and catch an impossible pass as he slides under James Harden. In the final scene, he is transported to basketball’s version of Mount Olympus, a fantasy court in the sky where he fulfills the ultimate basketball fantasy.
“The cinematic Devastudios created is a terrific opening sequence for 2K16,” says Visual Concepts’ executive VP, Jeff Thomas. “It sets the tone for the drama and challenge that come with the path to basketball greatness.”
Ever Studio’s Steven Emerson created the original score and Michael Feldman handled the mix.