02 Mar Just Happy bits: An NFL Snowstorm In San Francisco
We were once asked by beverage company Sunny Delight to film a winter football game during a lovely San Francisco summer. The hilarious creative sent director Robert Caruso off to mine the iconic NFL Films series for inspiration. Since the 1960’s, NFL Films’ earnest highlights have been a powerful visual history for the entire league. For our “NFL Film” we cast a fictitious expansion team, the Anchorage Otters hailing from the frozen tundra of Alaska.
To stage a convincing Anchorage football practice at Golden Gate Park’s Kezar stadium, Caruso collaborated with an amazing production design team including matte painters from Industrial Light & Magic. The result transformed the S.F. landmark and original home of the San Francisco 49ers, into an authentic winterscape complete with falling snow, snowmen, and a custom wood carved Otter mascot.
The snow gags were loads of fun, laying out massive white blankets, dusting the actors with potato flakes, rigging football helmets with icicles and adding a cold breath effect to all of the actors in post production. All of this was married to cinematographer Adam Beckman’s brilliant hand held camera work shot on 16mm film, printed and then transferred to video in the same method used by hundreds of the classic NFL Films. But it was the talented ensemble team of actors, the use of the official NFL Films music score and most of all the dramatic genius of NFL Films voice star, Harry Kalas that made the parody work so well. A (CC) favorite.