National Museum of American Jewish Heritage

Challenge

How do we capture the spirit of what baseball has meant to family, to community, to all Americans, and to immigrants who were becoming American? What does it even mean to become American? What was it like to be Jewish growing up in America during the Sandy Koufax era? These questions stimulated us to dig into our own past passion for baseball, for family and for how baseball has been bringing people together for over one hundred years. We were ready to jump in.

The National Museum of American Jewish Heritage (NMAJH) had gained access to MLB insiders, featuring team GMs, Presidents, and Owners at a convention in Florida. They also desired to include some prominent Philadelphians as well as ordinary baseball fans. So as the logistical challenges of production were mounting, there was also the deliverables to wrestle with.

Our client wanted to be on the cutting edge of what an interactive exhibit would provide. They wanted content, and lots of it. With a very finite budget, our client was hoping to satisfy its attendees with a plethora of over 25 videos throughout the exhibit ranging from themed videos, to breakout videos, social media teasers, movie clips and even silent films from the early 1900s.

Approach

So off to Florida we went for a tightly packed two day shoot. We got to spend time with Chicago Cubs owner (and NBA Bulls owner) Jerry Reinsdorf, MLB exec and former great player Joe Torre, NY Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Yankees president Randy Levine, and a host of others.

Knowing that we would have a shoot back in Philly, and we would have to intercut from both shoots, we wanted to have some latitude with how we apply a treatment in post. Also, knowing that our client wanted to both feature the highly recognizable talent, as well as include archival MLB footage, we needed an approach that could achieve both goals.

We shot our subjects against green screen and then were able to give a constant treatment throughout, while allowing the flexibility to alter background color solids to coordinate each video with the themed installation room in which it would play. We were also able to season these videos with incredible archival footage ranging from the early 30s all the way thru present time.

Results

The end result was over 25 diverse deliverables that would play on iPads mounted throughout the exhibit. Because the videos were playing in a museum they all had to comply with national standards of closed captioning.

Leading up the opening of the exhibit, we were also able to provide our client with repurposing the footage we already had for some use on social media. We created over 15 teaser videos that played one a day every day until the exhibit went live.