ESPN NBA Playoffs Opener

HABANA Avenue Produces ESPN’ Music-Driven “NBA Sunday” Opener

Bicoastal HABANA Avenue displayed elegant agility when it produced “Nine Lives,” the highly stylized, rock-n-roll open for ESPN’s “NBA Sunday” starring Tim McGraw and Def Leppard. The open is airing now on regular season games and will continue through the NBA Playoffs.

In “Nine Lives,” clips of NBA players, fans in the stands and action on the court are intercut with footage of McGraw and Def Leppard tracked by atmosphere-slicing moving lights and the flicker of amp’d-up projection beams. Logos of the teams participating in the day’s matchup are displayed side-by-side in widescreen video while ghostly players dribble the ball among the artists on a glowing basketball court/stage under black light. McGraw and Def Leppard are styled in distressed, film-style framings and in a pounding array of multi-image visuals leading to an explosive conclusion: a burst of pyro around the 3D “NBA Sunday” logo.

Originally destined as a track for Def Leppard’s new album, “Nine Lives” turned out to be a unique collaboration of country and rock artists who play together like a championship-bound NBA team. HABANA Avenue line producer John Mullins was on site in a warehouse in Los Angeles during the taping. Mullins ensured that ESPN would get the performance footage it needed to cut the multi- week opens and bumpers for the “NBA Sunday” open.

ESPN’s Chris Mantzaris was creative director for the open, which included extensive black-light effects, which brought the players and performers together in the same space. Several masterful players clad in white uniforms dribbled a basketball treated with UV-sensitive paint in between the musicians for a haunting illumination framed by UV-sensitive NBA and ESPN signage.

Valerie Fischler served as creative producer for ESPN. KJB Kiely was HABANA Avenue’s art director. Steven J. Levy, HABANA's President and Founder, supervised the production. The segments were edited at Vidiots in New York City.

About HABANA Avenue
HABANA Avenue is a full-service TV, film, live event and concert-experience production company and an original content creator. The company has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami’s South Beach and Tampa. It maintains a boutique post-production facility in Tampa and has post-production partnerships with the full-service Mad Toy Box Post in Charlotte, North Carolina and Vidiots in New York City.

David Steinberg – Millimeter Digital Content Producer The Briefing Room