NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO — NBC’s new Sunday Night Football open, featuring recording artist Carrie Underwood, is the result of a collaboration between Bodega, Northern Lights (nledit.com) and Soho VFX (sohovfx.com). The open features Underwood performing a new SNF theme song, “Oh, Sunday Night,” which was inspired by her hit duet with Miranda Lambert, “Somethin’ Bad.”
The open features a number of top NFL athletes, including Von Miller, Clay Matthews, Antonio Brown, Kam Chancellor, Odell Beckham Jr., Russel Wilson, Dez Bryant and Eli Manning. Underwood guides viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of SNF, making her way through the VIP entrance, locker rooms, press box, the stadium, and onto the field, playfully interacting with the players, cheerleaders, and fans.
Bodega executive creative directors Haley Geffen and And Reid began collaborating with NBC Sports VP creative director/director Tripp Dixon at an early stage, fleshing out the idea of a “one take” open and steering away from the concert-style performance of prior SNF opens. The :90 piece was meticulously mapped out, thought a true single-shot approach was unattainable.
Toronto-based visual effects studio Soho VFX created the photoreal visuals. The open called for an extensive amount of set extension work, including crafting entirely-CG environments for the stadium, locker room, and stairwell, as well as creating a largely-CG crowd.
Northern Lights editor Alan Chimenti cut the project on an Avid. “To achieve the one shot approach, my main objective was to make the open feel epic and sweeping, while still maintaining a seamless look and steady flow throughout,” Chimenti explains. “Another fun challenge was integrating various greenscreen elements into the Steadicam and motion-control shots, and exploring ways to open up time for transitions in between vignettes, while still maintaining vocal sync and musical pacing within the shot itself.”
Northern Lights’ Chris Hengenveld served as Autodesk Flame/Lustre artist.