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S4 Studios Puts Pedal To The Medal For Olympic Games Promos

Thanks to S4 Studios, the nations of the netherworld were well represented at the Beijing Summer Olympics. The studio designed and animated a package of opening and closing IDs for the "Chiller Summer Games," promoting NBC Universal HD cable station Chiller Channel's programming slate during the Olympic Games.

S4 Director/Designer Geoffrey Kater and Creative Director/Co-Designer Thomas Helmintoller were charged by NBC Universal's Emerging Networks VP of On-Air promotions Sarah Pierce with a sole a dictum, "the weirder the better." According to Kater, the studio threw their entire bag of tricks at the project, creating a "Chillerized" mimic of an Olympic medal.

"We brought together graphic elements such as saw blades, barbed wire, fire, chainsaws, scythes, studs and knives," Kater said. "But all those were merely adornments for the core image -- a clawed one-eyed skull with ram's horns. We created a medallion that would likely decapitate you if you put it on. It looks completely evil."

Helmintoller and Kater created the logo in Adobe Photoshop and animated it in Adobe After Effects 7. The logo was then brought into the "Chiller Stadium," a separate environment created in NewTek LightWave 9.0, featuring floating animated skeletons waving flags, cheering and of course, doing the wave.

This layered combination was then brought back into After Effects, where more fire, smoke, grit, and atmosphere were added, a composite of more than two dozen visual elements. "Chiller continues to push the outside of the envelope in its graphics," Kater said. "But I think the devil made us do this one."

Sarah Keturah was the compositor for S4 Studios.