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S4 Studios Goes to Xtremes for Universal HD Series Promo

S4 Studios has completed a new :20 3D-animated and live-action branding promo for Universal HD's XTREME SPORTS ZONE bloc of extreme sports programming. Directed and produced by S4 co-owner Geoffrey Kater for the client team of NBC Universal HD's SVP of Emerging Networks Dan Harrison and Director of On-Air Promotion Sarah Pierce, the initial promotions are focused on new series JEEP'S WORLD OF ADVENTURE SPORTS and the AST DEW TOUR.

For S4, the challenge was to integrate the bloc's buzzwords of BMX, FMX, Snow, Surf, Game On! and Skate into an organic process that would grow and reveal each design and art element throughout the piece. "We wanted to create a fusion of urban graphic art: a kind of graffiti meets tattoo artist," Kater said. "Our mission was to blend the energy of street skating, the beauty and crispness of tattoo art and the loose, frenetic quality of graffiti."

Even though the live promo footage had already been cut for content by NBC Universal, Kater, along with S4 Creative Director Thomas Helmintoller, still faced the task of establishing the pacing and the rhythm of the effects, stringing together each shot so that they all looked like part of the same design family. Kater added, "Instead of looking at it as a series ofunrelated sequences, we viewed the big picture of an overall graphics treatment. We utilized our skills in After Effects and Photoshop to frame the entire job in this very specific Xtreme sports style, then brought it all together at the end in an explosion of design elements. We are very fortunate to have in Sarah Pierce a client who gives us a free hand to create our own signature design style."

S4 Studios LLC (www.s4studios.com) is a creative design and production studio specializing in entertainment branding, content development, 3D animation, visual effects and live-action production for television, feature films, commercials, trailers and home entertainment. Since its founding in 1999, the studio has built a client roster that includes NBC Universal, Cartoon Network, Flyer One Ent., 20th Century-Fox, Paramount Studios and more.

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