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Canes Go Top Shelf with New Ad Campaign

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes have a hot new ad campaign to usher in the 2009-10 season. Fans can look forward to high-drama footage in ultra slow motion thanks to the Phantom HD high-speed digital camera used to shoot the dozens of spots that will air through spring of next year.

This marks the second year the Canes have teamed up with ad agency Craig Jackson & Partners and Trailblazer Studios to produce the franchise’s extensive advertising and video scoreboard spots. The campaign, themed “It’s a Caniac Thing,” slows down the high-speed moves of Eric StaalCam Ward and other Canes’ favorites.

“It’s a Caniac Thing” features eight main spots, each one catching a key player in a signature move – a slapshot, a wrister, a glove save. The voiceover describes the move in a dramatic way and settles on the one word that comes to mind for Caniacs when they think of their beloved team.

“Shooting at 500 frames per second makes the footage unique, because you can break down human motion to its barest elements,” said Garye Costner who directed the spots. “The hockey scenes we shot were happening so fast that you really don’t see the whole thing in real time. Then when you slow it down, what took a half second is stretched out to 6 or 7 seconds. For the first time you get to see just how powerful and skilled the skaters really are.”

Red Truck Films, represented by Trailblazer Studios, shot and produced the spots, with Cathy Wilson as executive producer and Costner as the director/DP. Costner brought in the Phantom camera and a technician from New York, giving the Canes an affordable way to utilize this typically expensive technology.

Serious Robots, the post production division of Trailblazer Studios, provided on-set supervision, post workflows, editorial, compositing, graphics and color correction – delivering eight main :30 second spots. Editors Scott Roy and Ian Krabacher will continue to cut the spots and create individual game tags for all upcoming home games.

Original music and sound design were provided by Aaron Keane and Willie Elias of Blazing Music + Sound, another division of Trailblazer Studios. Blazing will also deliver a radio advertising campaign to compliment the TV spots.

“Working with Trailblazer for the second year in a row has been a great experience,” said Ben Aycock, director of Marketing & Brand Development for the Carolina Hurricanes. “Their attention to detail and seamless teamwork between the divisions – you can’t ask for anything better.”

Craig Jackson, executive creative director and owner, and Mike Allen, creative director of Craig Jackson & Partners led their agency on the project, writing the scripts and providing voiceover.

"The Canes have come to mean something special to our region, and they have an amazingly loyal fan base," said Jackson. “When we started working with the Hurricanes and Trailblazer Studios on this project, we understood they wanted an anthem that speaks to how Canes fans feel about their team. Being fans ourselves, we were able to inject our passion into the work, capture the personality of the team and its fans, and create and produce a series of elegant, powerful spots.”

Costner agrees: “People who love hockey will really love this footage and will scream ‘now that’s what I’m talking about!’ People who don’t know hockey will be amazed at how cool it looks, and just maybe it will get them to a game. That would be great because then we’ve done our job.”

This slow-motion, high-drama advertising campaign isn’t the only thing that’s a first for the Canes this season; it’s also the first year the in-game presentation will be shot entirely in HD. This is possible thanks to a new high-def scoreboard and HD cameras and equipment acquired by the Hurricanes’ in-house AV team.

With a roster of award-winning directors based throughout the country, Red Truck Films, represented by Trailblazer Studios, produces spot work and non-traditional content, on location anywhere or on one of its two sound stages.

Serious Robots, a top post production company in the Southeast, provides editorial, design and finishing to companies in the commercial and broadcast industries. Blazing Music + Sound provides all aspects of music and sound production, including original music composition, voiceover recording, and sound design. Both are divisions of Trailblazer Studios. 
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