New York, NY - One of America’s favorite game shows, Cash Cab, has expanded its reign beyond the city streets of New York and added a cab route to the famed flashing strip of Las Vegas. For a number of special episodes of the show’s sixth season, Mechanism Digital shot new footage in Vegas and redesigned the show’s opening title sequence and graphics package for Lion Television, the production company behind Discovery’s hit show.
Using a Canon 5D Mark II camera, director of photography Jonathan Furmanski recorded high resolution stills and HD footage of the displaced New York City cab in the surrounding shimmering signage of Las Vegas. During an overnight shoot, Furmanski and crew established the new setting for the coming episodes by obtaining beauty shots of the city. They mounted cameras to both the taxi door and its hood using a pair of Manfrotto 3D heads attached to Wood’s Powr-Grips to capture the fast paced motion and in-your-face action of the party city’s new game vehicle.
Furmanski maintained direct communication with Mechanism’s producers, capturing what the designers required and enabling the team to transition seamlessly into post-production at the Chelsea studio. Back in the studio, creative director, Nate Mulliken designed and composited elements tying the footage together in choreographed graphic panels and subtle visual effects. Using Adobe’s CS4 After Effects, Nate combined Vegas-inspired iconic imagery with the glitzy photography to produce a wild and fast show open exemplifying both the thrill of casino gambling and the excitement of the game show itself.
The trickiest part of this assignment was to maintain the “Cash Cab” brand while adding a new and unique flare to illustrate the environment and showcase the new episodes. Using the original show open as a starting point, Mechanism customized the graphics and visual effects to match the new location. For instance, the logo remained the same but the font was changed to a more Vegas-inspired type. In addition, the New York icon Wall Street Ticker was transformed to a slot machine with an animated, show specific read-out. Typographical imagery zipped through the scenes to relate the show to the new venue.
Nate describes how Mechanism approached the creative challenge, “We maintained the brand by keeping true to the original open. We made it “Vegas” by pushing the original open with color and vibration, making it overall visually more complex with bright overlays and special divisions of certain images.”