February 26, 2010

bumpin







I've been terrible this Olympics about updating the blog, and now that the Olympics are basically over, I'm finally getting a few more files of what I've been up to posted. Here are some frames of "bumpers" - these are the bulk of what we do daily for the next upcoming broadcasts. For the Vancouver Olympics, they've been using them mostly in monitors that they then shoot through a camera, but they are designed so that they can be used as directly on-air pieces also. Links to a couple of them as used in broadcasts are here:
  • Vancouver2010: Apolo Ohno bumper
  • Vancouver2010: Women's PGS bumper
  • February 23, 2010

    game on






    We've been crazy busy this year with the Olympics broadcasts. I guess things are going well given the much higher than expected ratings, and of course the higher than ever USA medal count. One perk of being here is the occasional chance to get to an event, so my friends and fellow late shift designers Dana and Victor and I got to take in a morning hockey game today. It was Switzerland vs Belarus and it turned out to be a really great game. Olympic hockey rules make for a much more fun game than NHL hockey, but these teams were in it for the win, so they were playing with conviction. It went down to a shootoutl pretty damn exciting. And on top of it all, we lucked out with great seats. It may be the turning point mentally. We're at the countdown to the end point, and after the last few days I've become really frustrated with the city and experience (part of which is just the normal burnout that we know and expect when we take the job). Starting the day with the game was fun, and after a rough day at work, even though the trains were already shut down, we scored a bus and actually found a beer at an open bar right before closing, then internet had been restored to our hotel when we got home. Things are looking up finally...

    February 19, 2010

    sightings







    Just a few quick pics of some of my sightings in the past few days either at work or on the way to or from there... (yes, that's Stephen Colbert's moose "Ebersol" that he "donated" to us)

    February 16, 2010

    icing









    Finally getting around to posting some examples of some of what I've been up to lately. Sorry again for the lack of posts, but I guess I can't keep apologizing every time; thank goodness for Twitter for allowing a way to keep updates much more current about whats going on. If you've been watching the Olympics, you've seen that the look is based on ice crystals and diagonal patterns that actually originated from plaid (though the plaid never made it through the concept stages, the diagonals lived on). The look was designed by my friends Dave Barton and Art Director John Schleef of NBCOlympics. After the games, I'll try to do a more comprehensive post on the look overall. My role is just one of several designers to work within their look and develop pieces that work directly with it, sometimes in very direct ways and other times in ways that may take their elements but push them in different ways. The first few stills are just from an Apolo Ohno bumper; the next are from some hockey graphics that originally were just a couple requested graphics, but now are starting to develop into a mini-package of its own; and then a couple curling segment openers that also found some derivation in the stuff that was done for hockey. We never know day by day what exactly we'll be doing next, but chances are I'll be moving into more bumpers. Either way, in the next few days I'll try to post more frames as well as some of the advertiser sponsored elements that were done prior to the start of the games.

    February 13, 2010

    fired up






    More non-stop busy days lately - again sorry for the gaps between posts. I generally am able to keep Twitter up to date since it requires little time to do so, so you can always catch updates there. And if you are following there, you already know that I unexpectedly ended up at the lighting of the Olympic cauldron Friday night. The location of the cauldron had been one of the biggest secrets of the games this year. Most Olympics have a large and obvious tower built that you see awaiting the flame before the games start, but Vancouver didn't. And since their opening ceremonies were in an indoor arena (a first), no one was sure what to expect. Rumors had leaked of a hydraulic cauldron in the floor of the arena, but it seemed unlikely they would leave the flame indoors for the duration of the games. Other rumors were about a location near the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (where I'm working while here). That seemed likely, but I didn't expect that the lighting of one there would be part of the ceremony - and if it was, I figured it would be by some remote switch or something triggered at the main arena. A coworker had mentioned a barge in the harbor that looked like one for fireworks, so we were talking about running outside to catch those, but once they lit the flame in the arena and announced that it would be carried through town to the other location, we realized that we could run out to see and be a part of it. We weren't alone, people working at all the different networks from other countries were also running out at the same time. We got outside to discover that, sure enough, a cauldron had materialized complete with spotlights and stage lighting. After a little while, a figure appeared with the flame, lighting the torch and triggering a huge fireworks show. It was exciting to be there, especially since it was so unexpected. In the midst of several days of nothing more than work and sleep, it was a great quick break from the work.

    February 10, 2010

    overload






    Just a few more Olympic slivers from the last couple days. We've been crazy busy as we bear down and try to get a lot of things done before the broadcasts begin on Friday. Plus, the internet in our hotel has been down the last couple days, apparently Shaw Cable is already overloaded. But I'll try to post some more informative posts soon, plus once broadcasts begin, I can show you some of what I've been working on. The biggest surprise of opening ceremonies, by the way, is likely to be where the Olympic Cauldron is. There isn't one that has been visibly built, and the opening ceremonies are indoors for the first time ever. Pics have leaked of an alleged cauldron in the center of the arena where the ceremonies are being held, as well as some of an alleged one by the Convention Centre where we work... guess we will find out Friday.

    February 7, 2010

    details






    These are a few details of the Marine Building, a great art deco building not far from the IBC in Vancouver. I haven't been in, but the details of it always grab me when I walk by. It opened in 1930 after costing $2.2 Million to build, but then sold to the Guinness family (yes, that one) for $900,000. Most notable are the inlays in brass of assorted sea life as well as the stone relief of transportation modes, including not just steam trains and ships, but also dirigibles.

    February 6, 2010

    inside out







    Things are in full gear now for us, and at the same time starting to settle in. The rest of the staff is now here and we have moved to our split shifts which keep the equipment being used almost 24 hours a day. I'm on the evening shift, which has my day starting at 3pm and into the next morning. But its also the point where we start to figure out how to get things like laundry or gym or haircuts etc all figured out (or at least it is for this cowboy!) and starting to discover whats around beyond just the IBC where we work and the hotel where we sleep. The town has come alive dramatically in the last 24 hours as accompanying street events get into gear and tourists seem to be everywhere. This is the first time I've ever seen crowds of tourists around the broadcast center - I suppose its just something to see, though all anyone can see is the outside of the building and the walls and layers of security surrounding it. Next week, I should be able to show you some parts of what we've been creating from the inside. But until then, you'll just have to wait.

    February 3, 2010

    shifting gears






    Just a few more sights from today - a couple from around our work area, and then some of a setup I stumbled onto on a downtown street while trying to find a drug store in the rain... the pace of things getting into gear seemed dramatically more noticeable today.

    February 2, 2010

    steppin it up




    So... well yeah, we're busy. The past couple days have naturally been nothing but work/sleep/work, so there really isn't much to tell or show, since I can't share much until the Games start. A lot of the same crew that was together for Beijing and Torino are here, so its a fun crew of good people to be working with. More are coming this weekend and we begin our split-shift schedule then. I think its probably the best looking of the three Olympics I've worked on; its always nice to be part of group that continues to one-up itself. Stay tuned...