Entity FX Assists and Scores for the NHL

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Santa Monica, CA. With a series of heart-stopping, stylish visual effects shots, Entity FX puts the legend of the hero into dramatic form for the NHL in its season-launching commercials.

With a series of heart-stopping, stylish visual effects shots, Entity FX puts the legend of the hero into dramatic form for the NHL in its season-launching commercials. These innovative commercials - created by brand and entertainment marketing agency Conductor - capture the hero's journey from mortal, side-checking combat to last second, back-of-the-net glory, a moment that is shared ecstatically with the true fan. "my NHL" is this season's NHL tag line.

The spots feature the hero's muse expounding on the warrior spirit through a series of quotations from Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Entity captures these same core philosophies through time-morphing action shots to embrace the true heart and art of the game. The 30-second sequential commercial spots are aptly named "It's Time," "It Begins," "Battle," "Victory," and "Everyone’s Game." A 90-second version graced theatrical screens throughout the holidays.

Because of the multiple formats involved, including a four-minute mini-movie, a unique challenge came in creating material that could be delivered simultaneously to technically diverse venues – movie theaters, hockey arena Jumbotrons, the NHL website, aboard airplanes, and in broadcast commercials. Having a multi-faceted background with roots in both features and television, Entity FX’s skill set made for an ideal fit.

The commercials inspired a hat trick of VFX techniques. These featured a hyper-realistic time manipulation of the puck's speed on its almost self-directed journey to the back of the net, sweeping crowd shots capturing emotional fans, and visual enhancements adding to the vividness of this fast, sharp-edged game. "In several key shots," VFX Producer Dan Brimer noted, "we built a CG arena, complete with spotlights, animated scoreboards, and thousands of crowd members cheering the excitement of the game." The set extensions and 3D crowd duplication combined to give the event a level of energy that could only be matched by a live NHL game.

VFX Supervisor and President of Entity FX, Mat Beck, described their work on the project as "the perfect combination of majestic scope (the arena, the cheering fans) with intimate detail (frozen moments of man vs. man). Beyond just adding crowds and CG pucks, Tim Tennant (Sr. Creative Director and CEO of Conductor) wanted to give the fans the feel of what it was like to be in the moment, in the game."

Entity’s artists helped reach that goal by digitally stretching space and time to dramatize critical moments. As emotions were translated into live-action shots, Entity FX's work became an integral part of the storytelling.

Indeed, life and art seems to have imitated each other in grand style. With the NHL hitting record attendance levels, Entity's efforts on the launch of the NHL season has hit a chord with fans and proves to be everyone's gain.

About Entity FX

Entity FX is a high-end post-production facility that specializes in world class Visual Effects and Animation. Recently completed projects include a breast cancer awareness spot for Avon, the pilot for WB's Supernatural, ABC's NightStalker, and a number of completely CG photoreal crowd and NASCAR race shots for Disney's summer blockbuster Herbie: Fully Loaded. Its current production slate includes the fifth season of Smallville, the pilot episode for WB's Aquaman, New Line's Scary Movie 4, Universal's Miami Vice, and a motion capture / CGI martial arts project for National Geographic. Entity’s work on Smallville has recently been nominated by the Visual Effects Society for best visual effects in a broadcast series.

About Conductor

Conductor is an entertainment and brand marketing company that blends traditional advertising and promotion strategies with original content development to create marketing programs that are inviting, immersive, and interactive. The result—and Conductor’s creative practice —is Brand Storytelling: deep consumer engagement using screenwriting and character development instead of copywriting as its core discipline. Conductor combines brand strategic services with screenwriting and character development skills into a proprietary tool set and content development process that clients find both concrete and actionable. Through this unique blended process, Conductor has created and produced B2B and consumer storytelling solutions for clients as diverse as brand marketers such as Coca Cola, Ford, Lucent Technologies, Unilever’s AXE Deodorant, The National Hockey League, all the major Motion Picture Studios, videogame producers including Eidos and Atari, to the Department of Defense.


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Melissa Jensen
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