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Ultrabland Designs Stellar HBO / Cinemax Image Spot

HBO returns to Ultrabland's full-service promo boutique for design-driven theatrical spot (November 22, 2005)

Ultrabland's HBO / Cinemax Image Spot

Ultrabland's HBO / Cinemax Image Spot

When HBO licensed the musical group Switchfoots ?Stars track to set the mood for this seasons new slate of 14 first-run feature films, they called upon Ultrablands design talent to meet the challenge of creating a 90-second design-driven image spot that tied in the celestial theme of the music with and earthly star power featured in their line-up of movies.

Ultrabland picked up on the word play, creating an animated celestial environment where constellations are graphically linked to clips from movies such as ?Oceans Twelve, ?Closer, ?Sideways, ?Flight of the Phoenix, and ?Meet The Fockers, as well as glimpses of stars like Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Quaid. Innovative transitional devices enhance the connection between the live-action movie star footage and the star field.

?HBO came to us with a strong conceptual link between the Switchfoot track and the promo. Because it was essential for us to present an equally strong connection in the graphics, we worked to develop both a design and a transitional technique that would create a dynamic environment appropriate for the spots message, said Ultrabland principal Bennett Killmer, whos frequently teamed with HBO and Cinemax on their high-profile projects.

As Switchfoots music begins, the title ?They Shine From Far Away appears against a star field. Clips of movie stars looking into the sky follow, intercut with more titles ?Seem Close Enough To Touch, Light Up All Around, So Many Altogether playing on the double meaning of the cablenets roster of movie stars and the stars twinkling in the night sky. When a title asks, ? But Where Can You Find Them? the HBO and Cinemax logos appear.

The whole project hinged on devising a way to execute the complex transitions between the movie footage and the graphic environment. As a clip of movie footage turns into stars in the night sky, the camera moves into the constellation revealing a type message.

To create the transitions between movie star and constellation, Ultrabland designer Ryan Bramwell created a high contrast image in Adobe Photoshop by hand painting on the footage to accentuate the movie stars features in the last frame heading into each transition. Using this reference image, he was able to shape the constellations stars into a recognizable outline of the actor with Trapcodes Particular. The transitions were animated in Adobe After Effects.

There are plans for the spot to be re-tailored on a quarterly basis as new slates of first-run films are announced by the cable network.

HBO Credits:
VP of Brand Image: Marc Rosenberg, Creative Director: Robert Priday, Executive Producer: David Roofthooft

Ultrabland Credits: Creative Director: Bennett Killmer, Designer: Ryan Bramwell

About Ultrabland
Ultrabland is a uniquely specialized creative boutique dedicated to the art of creating high-end promos. Its award-winning talent provides seamlessly integrated editorial, design, and music services to some of the industrys most prestigious networks, including HBO, Showtime, NBC, CBS, Nickelodeon, Cinemax, Sundance Channel, MTV, USA, Lifetime, VH1, CourtTV, and Sci Fi Channel.

For more information, contact Ultrabland at 646.638.2830 or visit


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Related Keywords:Ultrabland, HBO, Cinemax, Bennett Killmer, Ryan Bramwell


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