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As the Los Angeles Rams take the field at SoFi Stadium on Sunday — marking the team’s first game in the new $5.5 billion venue with fans in the seats — players will come out a 90-second hype video flashing across the Jumbotron, showing Angelenos being drawn to the stadium by an almost supernatural force.
The video comes from the mind of Wally Pfister, the Oscar-winning cinematographer and Christopher Nolan-collaborator behind Inception, The Dark Knight and Batman Begins. Today he works largely in commercials and directed the Rams project after seeing “the canvas I was going to be able to create onto”: SoFi’s 70,000-square-foot Infinity Screen, the largest videoboard in sports.
“To me, it was about OK, we should craft a parallel story of the Rams getting prepared to play and put on the best season they can and the fans being excited about getting their butts down into the seats and filling that stadium,” which, amid the pandemic, has not yet welcomed spectators since its official opening last September, says Pfister.
He also added a Hollywood spin and included moments inspired by Steven Spielberg. “There’s a shot where the coffee in the mug vibrates, taken right from Jurassic Park, and then I wanted these other shots moving in on people that had the vibe of War of the Worlds,” he says.
To fit the massive screen, he and his team employed three different high-resolution cameras and shot in 12k.
Pfister collaborated with Atticus Ross, the Oscar-winning Social Network and Soul composer — and music production studio Barking Owl — on the sound, incorporating the team’s signature “Whose house? Rams’ house!” chant into the video. “Our hope is that we’ll get a call-and-response vibe from the fans on Sunday and we’ll get some energy going,” Pfister says, as star players like Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald, along with Coach Sean McVay, transition from the screen to the real-life field.
And though a move from shooting action films to action sports may seem drastic, “you’re certainly drawing on both the cinematic style, which includes the lighting and the camera movement, being the same as what I employed on the action films with Chris,” Pfister says. “It’s a real similar language.”
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