NEW YORK — Bodega (http://bodegastudios.com), Northern Lights (http://nledit.com), Zoic Studios (www.zoicstudios.com) and NBC Sports teamed up to create the new show open for Sunday Night Football on NBC. The open features Carrie Underwood and a host of NFL stars, including Russell Wilson, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant, Clay Matthews, and DeMarco Murray. It debuted during the September 13th broadcast between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, which was watched by nearly 27 million viewers.
“A few weeks after putting the final touches on the Super Bowl XLIX open, we were in a room brainstorming this year’s open… challenging ourselves to think differently,” recalls Bodega creative director, Haley Geffen. “It’s Carrie’s third season working with us and at this point the set feels like a legitimate family. Why not give the viewers an inside look into this environment, peel back the curtain a bit and show fans what we experience on set with a superstar and a cast of marquee NFL players.”
“We know we will see plenty of intensity during the game, but the open is really about setting the stage for that in a fun and more unexpected way,” explains NBC Sports VP creative director/director, Tripp Dixon. “Last season Fred Gaudelli, the coordinating producer for SNF, wanted to introduce more interaction in the open between Carrie, the players and the fans. This season we worked with Haley and the Bodega team to take that notion of interaction and access a step further, introducing a behind-the-scenes component that enabled us to toggle between a raw/spontaneous feel and a refined/choreographed performance. Shooting on a big sound stage played into our behind-the-scenes concept nicely… all the lights, equipment and buildings in the periphery evoked a big production feel.”
Northern Lights’ Alan Chimenti edited the open, and Chris Hengenveld served as colorist. Zoic Studios handled the visual effects. Executive CD Chris Jones and VFX supervisor Julien Brami led the Zoic team, which intertwine the kinetic stage graphics with the live action footage of Underwood’s performance and the NFL players.
“Not only was it exciting to work on a project for NBC Sports, it was also a great experience to collaborate with Haley, Tripp, and the entire team that has put this major project together for several years running,” notes Brami. “It was an exciting challenge to create a visually perfect new world for the audience to enjoy and feel a part of."
Chuck Ozeas served as director of photography for Bodega. Tim Avery at Northern Lights assisted on the edit.