AD Sports TV - Directors Cut

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On the heels of a competitive pitch for a major branding overhaul of Abu Dhabi Media’s (ADM) – previously Abu Dhabi Media Company – flagship channels, Dubai-based multi- disciplinary integrated design house Les Folies has embarked on a massive branding revamp for ADM’s Abu Dhabi Sports TV, which culminated in an official re-launch of the station on August 8. Built around the message that “every ground can be your playground” - "#YourSportsFeild", Abu Dhabi Sports’ eight idents transformed the city’s landmark locations into sports field, calling on viewers to action and active participation in the game – and focusing on seven sports, namely football, tennis, jiujitsu, fencing, MMA, sprinting, swimming and basketball. The team at les folies came up with what was seamlessly smiple but at the same time extremely complicated. 

This huge undertake was led by award winning ECD Obeida Sidani, who entrusted Dubai based production label VIP Films that brought on acclaimed director Anders Schroder and celebrated DOP Zubin Mistry to the power team behind this campaign. 

The limits of this production was pushed even further by bringing in almost bionic elements in the forms of world renowned athletes – both local and foreign – who performed their various sports in the streets of night time Abu Dhabi with its iconic buildings as backdrops. 

The team at Frame creative directed, conceptualized and animated the transforming floors under the athlete and the particle systems around him.

Anders wanted to explore what the opposite of the ever so popular organic film look using handheld, vintage lenses to create shallow depth of field and flat grading would look like. He wanted to achieve a look that was almost synthetic and videogame-like with extreme angles and razor sharp infinite focus but all achieved in-camera. A look that would be synonymous with high performance rather than the performers themselves.

Being fascinated by the HDR look typically associated with commercial sports photography, Anders suggested to re-create this look BUT in live action. The technique is based on the idea of shooting with multiple exposures and then combine them in post. Furthermore, Anders wanted to shoot high-speed with zero motion blur and considering this was a night shoot which added tremendously to the difficulty.

Together with DP Zubin Mistry they asked themselves: How do we shoot fast paced action high-speed, everything in focus, no motion blur, at night, with both the buildings and the sky and athlete fully exposed? 

The answer was motion control, a monstrous lighting package, Master Primes wide angles, Phantom Flex 4K, and lots of compositing. Using the motion control rig they filmed each shot in several passes moving the massive light rigs out of the shot each time background and buildings were being shot. The motion control rig enables the team to be able to squeeze in another cool gimmick; slow motion athletes in the foreground and time lapse cityscapes in the backgrounds - in the same shot!

The result is a spectacular and hyper-real look that feels almost CG-like even though most of it was shot in camera.

Sound design was instrumental in this process where each sport was requested  as a sound. The whole concept of sonic branding was restudied to come up with new sounds. Obeida worked closely with BKP Productions to non cliche sports music.

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