How the Chicago Bulls Are Changing the Social Media Game, Frame by Frame | NBC Chicago

How the Chicago Bulls Are Changing the Social Media Game, Frame by Frame

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017)

    Every tech-savvy sports fan knows that following your team on Twitter gives you access to solid stats and shareable gifs. But last season, the Chicago Bulls decided to step it up a notch. The result was a stop-motion video series that is not only the first of its kind, but has racked up millions of views and even won an award from the league. 

    Last year, they produced 10 videos with longtime sponsor BMO Harris Bank on the now-defunct platform Vine, the social network dedicated to six second looping video clips.

    As the #BMOVineaBulls took off, they adapted the videos to post on other platforms – a prescient idea, as Vine was shut down exactly one year after their first stop-motion video was posted – but not before the Bulls won the NBA’s first-ever Team Digital Content of the Year Award for their work.

    With Vine no longer in the picture, the videos are now the #BMOLoopaBulls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the creative team is free to create clips longer than six seconds. Take this one, of iconic mascot Benny the Bull hopping through the team’s schedule:  Benny the Bull Jumps Around the CalendarBenny the Bull Jumps Around the Calendar

    The Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull hops around the team's schedule in one of the #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion videos. (Credit: Chicago Bulls)
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    Or this video of Benny celebrating Thanksgiving in a way that only he can: Benny the Bull Celebrates ThanksgivingBenny the Bull Celebrates Thanksgiving

    Benny the Bull celebrates Thanksgiving in one of the #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion videos. (Credit: Chicago Bulls)
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    There’s a good chance these videos graced your social feeds, and if you caught one, your first thought (after "Whoa") was likely, "How in the world did they pull this off?"

    Earlier this month, they gave NBC 5 an exclusive look behind the scenes of their latest creation, and it turns out that the answer includes tons of hard work and even more patience. Behind the Scenes of the Bulls' Stop-Motion Video ShootBehind the Scenes of the Bulls' Stop-Motion Video Shoot

    For this particular shoot, four of the Luvabulls dancers performed a highly-choreographed routine while lying flat on the ground. Sound strange? It gets weirder - they did it moving just inches at a time, over the course of several hours, as a drone took photos from above.

    As director and editor Travis Rime Brooks explained, each video requires an incredibly labor intensive process that he likened to "animating people": Travis Brooks Describes the Work of a #BMOLoopaBulls ShootTravis Brooks Describes the Work of a #BMOLoopaBulls Shoot

    Director and editor Travis Rime Brooks talks about the work behind the Chicago Bulls' award-winning #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion videos.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    Filming alone took more than four hours on Wednesday, but that can barely hold a candle to the video of Benny on the calendar, which was a seven hour shoot. That time commitment? Well worth it to the Bulls' digital content manager Luka Dukich. 

    "The product we get out of these shoots is content that people have never seen before, and people really respond to that," Dukich said. "So even though they're ambitious, very time-consuming, technical, at the end of the day, it's all worth it." 

    But what about the dancers themselves? You'd think Luvabulls captain Ariana Rosado would be exhausted. Not quite, but she explained just how different this kind of experience is: Luvabulls' Ariana Rosado Talks Performing in Stop-MotionLuvabulls' Ariana Rosado Talks Performing in Stop-Motion

    Luvabulls captain Ariana Rosado tells NBC5's Mike Berman about the difference between a normal routine, and a shoot for the team's #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion video series.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    So why does the team behind these videos do it? As Dukich explains, it's all for you, if you're part of the second-largest social media following of any sports franchise in North America:  'Anyone Can Post a Highlight''Anyone Can Post a Highlight'

    Chicago Bulls digital content manager Luka Dukich explains why the team's #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion videos are a labor of love.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    Perhaps just as cool as the project itself is how it came together, and how important Chicago's artistic community is to the success of the series. In its early stages, Dukich was looking for a creative mind to push the envelope, searching on Vine until he found Brooks - a Bulls fan who lives about a mile from the United Center.  'I Thought it Was a Practical Joke''I Thought it Was a Practical Joke'

    Travis Rime Brooks grew up going to Bulls games. Now he makes one-of-a-kind #BMOLoopaBulls videos for the team.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)
    How the Bulls Value Chicago's Creative CommunityHow the Bulls Value Chicago's Creative Community
    Chicago Bulls digital content manager Luka Dukich explains the importance of Chicago's artistic community in creating the team's #BMOLoopaBulls stop-motion videos.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    The team's latest creation, a stop-motion video of the Luvabulls dancing, was released on Valentine's Day.

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