NBC Sunday Night Football Opener

New “Sunday Night Football” Open Reunites HABANA Avenue With NBC and Faith Hill Following Successful Super Bowl Partnership

Having scored with their open for NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLIII earlier this year, HABANA Avenue was invited back to create another performance video-style open for the network’s “Sunday Night Football” franchise. The assignment reunited HABANA Avenue with Grammy-winning country pop star Faith Hill who headlined the Super Bowl open and returned to launch the NFL season with a new rendition of the “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” theme.

“There’s no doubt that our Super Bowl success got us this job,” says HABANA Avenue President and Founder Steven J. Levy, “as did the great experience we had working with Faith and NBC. When it came time for the new ‘Sunday Night Football’ open, the network wanted the same service and care for A-list talent they got the last time they worked with us.”

HABANA Avenue was tasked with staging, lighting and shooting the open, which built on the sleek, industrial dome set that took center stage in the Super Bowl intro. “We basically took what was successful in the lighting and set design of the Super Bowl open and put it on coffee,” Levy explains. “We took the concept and infused it with nitro tripling the number of lighting elements built into the performance dome and creating a separate performance tunnel for Faith and dancers.”

Levy points out that “the look of the open itself and almost every aspect of the dome was a lighting element. Today, you can actually light up structural elements of the set using Element Labs’ Versa TUBES and Stealth Panels. They really make a structure come alive and pulsate.”

The silver girder-striped dome set was built on a soundstage at Universal Studios in Orlando, which offered the necessary space and ceiling height required for the shoot. Large LED screens filled the space between the girders where light effects, game footage, text and logos were dramatically choreographed. “We worked with great crews out of Central Florida, and Universal devised a cost effective package deal for us,” Levy notes.

On set, HABANA Avenue ran media through the Stealth Panels mapping and lighting footage customized for the teams competing in each scheduled game. “Like many of the football opens we do, 50 percent was comprised from footage repurposed from games,” notes Levy. Faith Hill was glamorously lit in some sections and dramatically amplified for her rousing performance. Rob Hyland directed the “Sunday Night Football” open for NBC. Fred Gaudelli was the senior producer in charge of production and Charlie Vanacore produced for the network. Rick Kalivoda was the gaffer and Larry Shure was the line producer.

About HABANA Avenue

HABANA Avenue is a full-service TV, Film, Live Event and Concert-experience Production Company, Original Content creator and Post Production liaison with offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Tampa. It maintains a boutique post-production facility in Tampa called Bungalow Post @ HABANA Avenue and has a post-production alliance with full-service and nationally- positioned Red Car which has offices in New York, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

David Steinberg, Millimeter Digital Content Producer The Briefing Room