WNBA Playoffs Expect Great Finalists

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has been advertising the championship playoffs over the past weeks, featuring many of the league’s stars in the lead up to the final. The campaign is online at www.wnba.com/expectgreat.

Players in WNBA Eight to One commercial

The campaign’s first spot, entitled “From 8 to 1,” featured star players from all eight of the teams still in contention for the WNBA championship, playing at Colin L. Powell Academy Gymnasium, Long Beach.

The “From 8 to 1” spot begins with eight players dribbling a basketball as they walk toward the camera on the court. Each does a spin move, and when one player passes in front of another, the one in the background disappears, leaving four. Those four then cross, leaving two players, then it pares down to one… before they fan out again to reveal all eight players.

Click on the image below to play the video.

That first spot has now been replaced with “From 2 to 1” to focus-in on the two teams in the WNBA Finals, the Detroit Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars. In “From 2 to 1,” only players from the Shock and Silver Stars fan out at the spot’s end.


The WNBA Expect Great campaign was developed at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners by partner/creative director Jamie Barrett, group creative directors Chris Ford and Ari Weiss, art director Adrien Bindi, agency producers Ashley Sferro and Jake Grand.

Filming was shot by director Jake Banks via Stardust Studios with director of photography Jaron Presant, executive producer Paul Abatemarco, producers Rich Kaylor and Megan Kennedy, VFX supervisor Andrew Ashton, editor Tony Hall, 3D artists Kevin Ta and Mike Cahill, line producer Rich Kaylor, post producer Megan Kennedy and online editor Michael Merkwan.

Sound and music were mixed at Crescendo Studios by Dave Baker. Music is “Can You Get to That” by Funkadelic.

Player with green screen in WNBA Eight to One commercial

“As soon as I saw what the idea was, I realized it could only be done by shooting motion control… and that we’d have to shoot all the players performing all the same motions and then composite the correct ones into the right places in post,” Banks said. “To complicate things a little more, of course we didn’t know who was and who wasn’t going to make the playoffs when we were shooting, so that added to the scale of the production as well.”

Continuing, Banks added, “Getting all of the players for any length of time in one place was quite a challenge, so we ended up shooting over two days. The campaign presented us with a really interesting technical challenge, and I’m really happy it came out as great as we all imagined.”

Following the production, Stardust’s Banks and Ashton supervised the rotoscoping of all players from their source footage, and based on WNBA standings and agency input, Ashton used Adobe After Effects to layer-in all the correct players for both “From 8 to 1” and ”From 2 to 1.” Working with animated elements created in Maya by 3D artists Kevin Ta and Mike Cahill and with the editorial talents of Tony Hall, Stardust’s team is set to deliver new campaign spots reflecting the results of the playoffs as they progress over the weeks ahead.