Blue Room Graphics Promote ESPNU Football

By John Rice
When ESPNU began promoting its slate of college-football games, it deployed a new graphics package created by
New York
production house Blue Room. The package will be used to tout all of ESPNU’s coverage throughout the season.
“We decided to break away from any kind of look that might be clean to go with super-hot contrast, overall a black-and-white look,” explains Blue Room president and CEO Chris Gargani. The spots feature “highly stylized, almost comic-book vignettes of players from various settings,” he says.
Working with footage provided by ESPN, Blue Room used a mix of After Effects and Maya software to eliminate identifiable jerseys and colors. Mocha software was also used to rotoscope the players. “It’s hard to make out the faces in all of these,” Gargani says.
Creative Director Brian Aumueller adds, “We wanted to keep it vague enough that these vignettes could be used at any time to any end.”
The materials were delivered to ESPNU in 720p, with everything in 4×3-frame safe mode. (ESPNU will go HD this October.) Gargani says, “We didn’t deliver anything with logos embedded. They have the ability to place an HD or standard [-definition] logo where we set it on the screen.”
Blue Room has been working with ESPN for about six years, “but we’ve never done a graphics package with them before,” says Gargani.
“We proposed these various vignettes,” says Aumueller, “and wanted to make sure that it was as dynamic and over-the-top as possible. We wanted to take the concept all the way.”