After last week's 2022 NFL schedule release, we sat down with AMB Sports and Entertainment Creative Director Larry Luk and discussed the approach the Atlanta Falcons took in creating a piece of content for what has become a significant tentpole moment on the NFL's league calendar.
For our 2022 schedule release video, we took a different approach than we have in the past. We partnered with viral TikTok sensation and local Atlanta creative David Scott to create an engaging piece of content featuring a Rube Goldberg machine, a contraption that uses a chain reaction to carry out a simple task, to showcase our schedule.
Falcons: What was the ultimate goal in mind when coming up with the idea for creating the 2022 schedule release video?
Larry Luk: We wanted to take this opportunity to speak to and connect with our fans. Falcons fans are the lifeblood of our team and organization, and we wanted to excite them, especially our younger fans. That being said, whether you've been a Season Ticket Member for 40 years or are just joining the Dirty Birds, this video has something for you. The Rube Goldberg concept is something that is fun and that anyone can enjoy. We thought it spoke to a wide audience, and we were able to hide a little bit for everyone within the video.
Falcons: Can you take us behind the scenes of how this video came to fruition? Walk us through the process of brainstorming to execution.
Larry Luk: We started the process months ago by gathering our creative, digital and marketing teams, and representatives from other departments such as football operations, to brainstorm a concept. Everyone pitched ideas, but it was Jenny Ross on our video team who pitched unveiling the schedule through a Rube Goldberg machine.
We tested the viability of other options, but we kept coming back to this idea as the perfect way to embed all the easter eggs and jokes we wanted to tell.
From there we connected with David, who has 7 million followers on his TikTok account under the moniker Enbiggen. We were dazzled with his Tik Tok account and his approach to creating Rube Goldberg machines.
Once deciding on the direction, we all got together in a room at our training facility in Flowery Branch and started developing how we would showcase the schedule within the Rube Goldberg machine. Through collaboration with David, we were able to determine which stories we wanted to tell, what opponents we wanted to feature and what parts of the contraption we wanted to highlight. David then began building the all-digital Rube Goldberg machine.
Falcons: David, talk us through the process of creating this content. Knowing that everything was created digitally, the fact that it looks so realistic is incredible. What did this process look like?
David Scott: This video is an example of a classic Rube Goldberg machine. Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist who would come up with very elaborate ways to do something very simple, such as developing 20 steps to butter a slice of toast.
Technology has rapidly advanced and is so accessible now. We now have products like Cinema 4D, a powerful professional modeling and animation tool, which is what I used to create the schedule release video. The fact that it is now possible for a person in their home to have the tools to create something that approaches realistic animation is astounding.
In collaboration with the Falcons team, we developed the different story elements of the video and from there, I began creating. I use physics within the software to create the motion of the ball and make it move along the miniature model scale, which takes one action and translates it into another seamlessly forever down the line. It was important that we found a way to tell the story visually in a way that is congruent to true nature of Rube Goldberg, but also made sense for the Falcons schedule release video.
Larry Luk: I love watching someone watch one of David's videos. They are like, "oh, this is cool." and then you tell them that it's computer-generated and their jaw drops. That never gets old. It's so realistic that you can't believe that it's not.
Falcons: There is a fascination around Rube Goldberg machines. Why do you think that is? From a strategic perspective, why use this medium for schedule release?
Larry Luk: Rube Goldberg's machines are something that you don't just want to experience once -- you want to view them over and over to see how the mechanisms work or to see if you missed something special. And, that's what we did in this video. We found places to tuck in little easter eggs, whether audio or visually based, and found ways to play off some big brand moments within our team's history.
We also wanted to meet our younger fans where they are. They are on TikTok and Instagram, and this is the kind of content they are consuming. The Rube Golberg concept is perfect for mediums like that, especially with looping video.
David Scott: TikTok really popularized the looping of video and video in short form. Something that can't be done in real life with Rube Goldberg machines is looping. Usually, it's one and done. Rube Goldberg's destroy themselves as they go along and need to be reset. The looping effect allows for people to rewatch it, and that is only something that can be done digitally.
Falcons: There are a lot of easter eggs in this video, and some that could be easily missed unless you're paying attention in this quick 47-second video.
Larry Luk: The easter eggs are there so that when fans discover them, they can get excited and start their own conversations with friends and family and on social media. The easter eggs poke fun of our rivals, some popular players and opponent cities. It was important to us to highlight our rivalries with our divisional opponents, but also show other matchups on our schedule that we think our fans are going to be really excited about.
There is a joke in there for someone who is new to football, or someone who attends every Falcons game. There is one that I especially hope that Dirty Bird fans take pleasure in discovering.