Big screen content means big thinking.
Game Changer makes a stadium-sized impact with Frankie
If you’ve recently attended a major sporting event in North America, chances are you’ve seen Game Changer’s work – and interacted with it, no less.
Game Changer creates graphics for sports stadium jumbotrons and other displays across the northern continent. Its work in sports includes visuals for football, baseball, basketball and hockey, ranging from simple idents to filters overlaid on spectator shots, all designed to pump energy into arenas as large as the AT&T Stadium in Texas.
The studio’s client list is certainly impressive. Game Changer has supplied dynamic graphics to the Dallas Cowboys, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Padres and more besides. In fact, the client base is so vast, it’s almost easier to ask which teams Game Changer doesn’t work with – and that list is getting smaller all the time.
But whoever the client, Game Changer treats each job as being as important as the last. After all, even simple graphics work can involve huge amounts of data across hundreds of files, collaborated on by numerous contractors working to the highest of quality. Game Changer constantly shares work with clients along the way, too, ensuring each and every deliverable is in line with the desired brief.
To achieve on these fronts, Game Changer relies on Frankie.
Using Frankie’s web-based review and collaboration toolset, Game Changer can discuss and deliver projects with ease, even on the most convoluted and complex projects. The result is happy clients and entertained spectators from coast to coast.
Shaking things up
Game Changer’s three co-founders – CEO Shawn Barnett, vice president Sean Hopkins and chief creative director Ryan Trenhaile – are from very varied backgrounds. Between them, the trio has worked on films such as The Avengers, Thor, and Shrek, TV projects like Game of Thrones and game franchises such as Resident Evil – all while winning three prestigious Emmy awards along the way.
Upon combining their individual talents the trio chose to shift into sports, turning their skill set to large-scale entertainment and animated stadium graphics that pump up crowds or display scores in glorious showers of color. Game Changer has continually innovated over the years too, with interactive display work becoming more common.
One recent project overlays customized Snapchat-esque filters onto fans’ faces, with the results displayed on the big screen for all to see. There are also interactive games that spectators can play on their smartphones against other members of the crowd.
It’s all about driving engagement between teams and fans, not to mention keeping audiences entertained during time-outs and in between innings. “We’re pretty much the only people working in the area right now,” says Trenhaile. “We were early to the game.”
Game Changer’s work continues to spread far and wide. Recent clients include the Olympics, ESPN’s X Games and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
“We’ve worked with almost every sports team in America,” says Trenhaile. “We’re growing fast and taking over a bigger market share in event entertainment. There’s also a lot of international work on the table.”
Whatever the event, Game Changer’s work tends to be complex, involving a great deal of assets and a lot of technical thinking.
“Sometimes we deliver over 2,000 graphics to a single team. That’s an insane amount of information that has to be quality controlled,” says Trenhaile. “It means creating it, then going through us for approval, then to the client. Then there’s always a lot of back and forth on design and the style from that point on. At times, sponsors also jump into the approval process to ensure the content meets their standards.”
Frankie cuts through the center of this communication. Its web-based interface enables easy user access, and from there the learning curve is non-existent: both Game Changer and their clients can annotate files as intuitively as if working around a whiteboard.
“Drawing in real time is hugely beneficial in the creative world,” says Trenhaile. “That’s the killer feature that keeps us with Frankie over going with a competitor. It is visual collaboration in total real-time, which you don’t get elsewhere.
“Some clients will draw an insane amount of stuff on the screen,” he continues. “That means we can better visualize and understand what they want, and new ideas can emerge during the process. And we don’t even need to be in the same room!”
The benefits are abundant within Game Changer too. Trenhaile works out of California, but his fellow co-founders set up shop in Kansas City. Game Changer also has employees in Dallas, an Unreal Engine dev team in Pakistan and dozens of contractors around the globe.
“We didn’t want to tie ourselves down to a single office location. We wanted access to the best talent around the world,” says Trenhaile. “Our use of Frankie’s web-based platform speaks to this. It fits our needs whether we’re in the office, onsite at a stadium, or working from a beach. We can all collaborate and keep projects moving forwards – and the ability to save a Frankie client session and send it to remote contractors for review is a huge perk for the studio.”
Beyond Frankie’s everyday effectiveness, Trenhaile also has high praise for Cospective’s support. Game Changer only required the team’s help on one occasion, but discovered that whatever the size or shape of the problem, Cospective’s support will see things through.
“They were kick-ass,” enthuses Trenhaile. “They worked with us to discover the source of the issue and it was no holds barred. They went all out on finding effective solutions and didn’t give up.”
It’s part of why Game Changer recommends Frankie so heartily to fellow creative studios – and even to clients such as the Edmonton Oilers. Game Changer put together a huge package of graphics for the ice hockey team’s new stadium opening. The Oilers liked Frankie so much they brought it in-house for their own review needs.
“We completed that project with Frankie and at the end of it the Oilers decided that they wanted to use it too – and they use it heavily,” says Trenhaile.
“It goes to show how useful and applicable this software is to anyone with a need for visual collaboration. We would absolutely recommend Frankie to anyone in today’s global creative landscape.”