Alabama’s Crimson Tide Productions Leverages Cine Lenses To Capture High-End Content at CFP National Championship

The team of 12 even live-streamed a Coach’s Show from onsite on CFP Weekend

The University of Alabama may have fallen short of claiming its third CFP National Championship in four years, but that takes nothing away from another outstanding season for the talented team at the school’s Crimson Tide Productions.

A video and photography team that was 12 people strong was on hand at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, to capture the action and produced an impressive output of content leading into Monday night’s game.

Although a fan base surely never tires of annual trips to the National Championship Game, Crimson Tide Productions faces the challenge of crafting a unique message for each trip. Its approach thus far has ranged from honoring the program’s history to catering to prospective recruits, and this year’s message was to live in the moment and focus on the accolades for this squad taking the field.

“A lot of our content is designed to get fans excited,” says Justin Brant, director, Crimson Tide Productions. “Coach [Nick Saban] has been very adamant about what this team has done, so it’s one of those things where we’re playing off that message and promoting this team and what this team has done, in addition to the tradition and the past success.”

Brant and his team arrived in Santa Clara with some high-powered cameras in tow. Primarily, the crew was shooting with a Sony FS7 with a Canon 30-300 cine zoom lens, all mounted on a hi-hat rig. This was a huge upgrade from three years ago at the CFP National Championship Game in Glendale, AZ, where the team first used the unit and Director of Video Production Alex Seiver carried the heavy camera as a shoulder-mount throughout the game. Fortunately for him, that wasn’t needed this time around.

Also on hand was a RED camera with a Canon lens with built-in servo. Brant says he and his group are big fans of the flexibility offered by shooting with 4K cine lenses.

“The huge thing with 4K glass is that it’s much clearer than everything else we’ve got,” says Brant. “If you are shooting in 1080, you’re really doubling everything. Some stuff we’ll shoot 4K, some 2K, some 1080. So it just depends on what we’re doing, but, either way, it brings a lot of depth.”

Crimson Tide Productions also had some fun with a 360-degree camera that it used to shoot some social content.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of the whole experience was the tight turnaround from the CFP Semifinal Game (which Alabama won at the Orange Bowl in Miami) to the title game at Levi’s Stadium on the opposite side of the country. According to Brant, the team’s equipment truck arrived back in Tuscaloosa the Sunday after the semifinal, was emptied out and reloaded, and left the very next day to make the cross-county trip to the Bay Area.

Arriving on Friday, the crew hit the ground running, capturing all-access content and bringing Bama fans at home into the experience of the CFP. The team captured a lot of content at Media Day on Saturday before live-streaming a Coach’s Show with Nick Saban on Saturday night. Sunday was a lighter day of shooting practice and sharing content nuggets acquired the day before. During the game, the team took a more graphical approach, using captured images to create static and motion graphics to celebrate touchdowns, turnovers, etc., in real time.

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