The opening of the 2012 Daymon Worldwide Leadership Summit in Dallas, TX. The theme of the summit was "Mastering the Game" and the chess boards and pieces were used in the marketing and supporting artwork. To further draw parallels between the game of chess and Daymon Worldwide's six key strategies, we created this opening sequence.
The video is in a super-wide format to take full advantage of the massive 30' x 10' (3:1 aspect ratio) screen on stage at the event and was rendered at 2160 x 720 pixels.
Winner of the 2013 Silver Award of Distinction in the category of Film/Video Employee Communications in the 19th Annual Communicator Awards.
The purpose of the video was to kickoff a three day leadership summit for all director-level and higher employees of Daymon Worldwide by highlighting some key strategy points and setting the theme for entire event, which was "Mastering the Game".
We knew we had to mimic a real life game instead of simply filming a series of random, unrelated moves in order to have the chess game itself tell a story and reach a real climax. So after some research, I found a suitable source – the "Game of the Century" — a game played between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament in New York City on October 17, 1956.
The filming took place over the course of two days in a small windowless room used for storing our video production equipment. We purchased a beautiful Italian marble chess set and lit the set with one key light overhead and one softbox for fill light.
All of the shots were taken with a Canon 60D and a manual focus Nikkor 50mm ƒ2.8 macro lens. The DSLR was placed on a small, wheeled dolly and a small on-board monitor was used to allow me to easily monitor the shots as I was simultaneously moving the camera and pulling focus.
By studying the famous Bobby Fischer game, I was able to choose key moves and sequences to film that would create tension and drama on screen and ultimately lead to a climatic checkmate. Both Chris Powell and I filmed our own hands moving the chess pieces on screen which added a level of difficulty to the filming but gave us the ability to tightly control, choreograph, and coordinate the timing of the camera work and movement of the chess pieces.
The project was edited and composited in a wide 3:1 aspect ratio in order to produce a video that would completely fill the custom 30' x 10' screen at the event. I chose dimensions of 2160x720 for the format because it allowed us to use our original 1920x1080 footage at the highest possible resolution without the used of scaling over 100%.
The post-production workflow was done completely within the Adobe Create Suite. Adobe Premiere Pro was used to ingest, log, and make basic edits, then the project's sequences were sent to Adobe After Effects for compositiing and color grading. In After Effects the footage was pre-composed, stabilized, and pre-rendered before it was rotoscoped, composited with the text and color graded. By both compositing the text into the footage to create an augmented reality effect and editing to the dramatic score we were able to further draw the audience into the macro world of the this chess game. Lastly Adobe Media encoder was used to render the final composition at our custom dimension of 2160x720 for handoff to the event production team.
Most recently "Mastering the Game" received a 2013 Silver Award of Distinction from the 19th Annual Communicator Awards.