NEW YORK — Creative director Haley Geffen of content creation/production company Bodega (http://bodegastudios.com) teamed up with NBC Sports Group and NBC Sports VP creative director/director Tripp Dixon, and visual effects studio Rodeo FX to create the high-energy open for Super Bowl XLIX. The open features singer Carrie Underwood in a virtual stadium, setting the stage for the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
Bodega has collaborated on NBC’s Sunday Night Football open for three consecutive seasons, this year with Carrie Underwood, and in the past, with Faith Hill. Geffen and Dixon led a three-day shoot months in advance of the big game. The production company worked closely with Rodeo FX to enhance the stage visuals for the stylized concert experience, with dynamic holographic letters emblazoning the Super Bowl logo. To craft the stage view looking out at the audience, a customized CG rendering of the University of Phoenix Stadium was created.
“It was great to work with two very talented and collaborative teams,” says Dixon. “We were able to rely on Bodega’s creative energy and prior production experience with the Sunday Night Football open, and combine that with Rodeo FX’s strong visual effects capabilities, fresh perspective, and feature film experience.”
Rodeo FX crafted close to 80 shots, including the CG holographic roman numerals that display behind Underwood, and 60,000 simulated fans.
“This is a huge project, the biggest opening in sports,” notes Geffen. “When we reviewed the pitches for this project, it was immediately clear to us that we wanted to go with Rodeo FX. We could see the caliber of what they offered and we knew they could make the opening better.”
The intro consists of new live action footage and archival footage from NFL games. It incorporated a wide range of frame rates and cameras, which came into play for color grading. Rodeo FX aimed to make it all look like it was shot together and intended to flow in a cinematic manner.
Rodeo FX’s (www.rodeofx.com) credits included president Sébastien Moreau, creative director André Ü Montambeault, producer Ashlee Wismach, lead compositor Pierre Blain, lead motion designer Jocelyn Tremblay, and CG supervisor Sébastien Francoeur.
Alan Chimenti, at Bodega’s sister company Northern Lights (www.nledit.com), performed the edit with Tim Avery assisting.