Here’s a production truth: it’s hard to find six-inch actors. Luckily for the team at Atomic Productions, there are all sorts of technology that can turn regular sized folks down to mini-mighties, because that’s exactly what they needed to bring the Mini-Insider series of TV ads to life for Comcast SportsNet (now NBC Sports — Bay Area).
CSN hires a dedicated reporter, called an Insider, for every major sports team in the San Francisco Bay Area. Insiders report on the Raiders, 49ers, Giants, A’s, and Sharks in the Bay Area. CSN wanted to introduce these Insiders to viewers via a promotional campaign where the on-air talent was portrayed as six-inch mini-wingmen. Production of the spots, which aired all over the Bay Area, started with a lengthy pre-production schedule. Atomic eggheads busted out at least three calculators to determine camera angles and actor and prop positioning to make sure the scale appeared correct. Then we created storyboards and executed pre-visualization with action figures to confirm our work before the first shot was called. Atomic also commissioned the construction of a number of oversized practical props: a coffee cup, TV remote control, baseball, and pen. The campaign ran for three years and included 19 spots. Atomic garnered three Emmy Awards. It remains one of the more challenging and rewarding campaigns Atomic has ever completed.
Edited at Atomic using the Autodesk Smoke system. Graphics and compositing were completed in Adobe After Effects and Smoke, while 3D elements were created in Blender and Cinema 4D.