Out Of The Park
August 27, 2012 by Screenmag
Who doesn’t love a classic baseball park? To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox tapped local shop Brickyard VFX to create a series of spots. The first spot in the series, "Splendid Splinters,” was concepted and directed by Brickyard co-founder Dave Waller and is airing now.
“Splendid Splinters” takes viewers on a journey of fan euphoria throughout the years, as legendary slugger Ted Williams gears up to hit a home run in front of a packed crowd in the Fenway Park of yesteryear. Mid-swing, Williams morphs into present-day icon David Ortiz – and the crowd, announcer, uniform and Fenway itself morph into their present day iterations as well.
Red Sox management selected rising star Chris Shaw to play Ted Williams. Shaw studied Williams’ signature swing to perfectly replicate it in action at the Fenway shoot, where he was filmed in a 1950s vintage Sox uniform using an actual vintage Williams bat. Waller filmed Shaw on a Phantom camera at 1,200 frames per second, slow enough to capture every minute movement throughout the swing. Waller and crew returned during an actual Red Sox game and set up the camera in the exact same position to shoot Ortiz.
From there, Brickyard digitally replaced Shaw’s head with Williams’ by tracking Shaw’s head in 3D using Boujou, sculpting and texturing a model of Williams’ head in Zbrush from hundreds of reference photographs, and then doing the final replacement renders in Flame. The Brickyard team also used Flame to precisely line up Shaw’s body with Ortiz’s for a seamless slo-mo transition. They also digitally replicated footage of 50 extras in seven different ways to achieve the look of a packed crowd of 350 unique fans behind home plate. This had to be done twice – once for the vintage fans and once for the contemporary. Brickyard composited all these elements together in Flame to achieve the final product, and also built the “100 Years” end tag logo in CG.
“Baseball is all about history, fantasy, and fulfilling dreams,” said Waller. “I wanted this spot to embrace all the legendary memories of Fenway in one powerful moment. It was fantastic to have so much support from the Red Sox to bring the magic of Fenway to life in every detail of this spot.”
Waller also directed another spot in the series, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” which will air closer to the end of the season.
Client: Red Sox
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Branding Development: Adam Grossman
Manager of Red Sox Productions, Creative: Keith Macri
Director, Marketing & Broadcast Services: Colin Burch
Agency: Conover Tuttle Pace
Account Director: Peter Winch
Account Executive: Lynn Cupero
Executive Creative Director: Grant Pace
Creative Director: Mark Bappe
Creative Director/Copywriter: Jay Courtney
Senior Art Director: Jessica Ruggieri
Producer: Daniel Rucci
Project Manager: Tara Roman
Director: Dave Waller
Art Director and Lead Artist: Robin Hobart
Supporting Artists: Jimi Simmons, Gina Downing, Pete Bullis, Henrique Ghersi, Dave Waller
Producer: Michael McCarthy
Production Assistants: Brace Thompson, Ellen Schmidt, Evan Richards
Super Slo Mo Photography: Tech Imaging Services, Salem, MA