Hothaus sets the scene in graphics packages

nabpreviewicon.jpgHothaus Creative’s graphics combine the traditional look of news graphics with fully-directed video of talent, station vehicles, the newsroom and locales within the station’s market.

Hothaus’ shooting styles are almost always instantly recognizable and have spawned many copycat attempts.

While using video in news graphics packages is definitely not a unique concept, Hothaus’ meticulously-lit and carefully planned shots stand out in the industry with their dramatic appearance. These shots do an excellent job of creating a sense of urgency and giving viewers a glimpse into life at a TV news station — albeit a slightly exaggerated and staged one.

Hothaus video is also unique in the sense that locations, not just the talent, are also creatively lit — sometimes splashing broad, bold colored lights onto backgrounds that are otherwise a boring white. In addition careful blocking, lighting and post-production effects can turn ordinary looking spaces that show promise as a shoot location into active, newsy backgrounds.

Because of this heavy focus on carefully-crafted video, Hot Haus’ work does a great job of showcasing station talent through its use of dramatic lighting, fluid camera movements, prominent focuses and background action. These clips often find their way into reopens and station promos, where they are extremely effective. A great example is the talent shots being used at WFAA-TV in Dallas.

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While Hothaus’ work focuses heavily on the video components, the firm also offers eye-catching animation designs that complement the on-screen video while incorporating the station’s colors, logos and slogans.

Hothaus designers also have found new takes on news graphics design while still staying within a comfort zone that keeps the graphics suitable for many markets and demographics. For example, Hot Haus’ work at WLS-TV in Chicago features unique lower third and OTS templates that don’t push the envelope too far. At this same station, an animated burst of yellow “hugs” the station’s bug and blends perfectly with all other on-screen graphics.

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The work is heavily influenced by bursts of color and soft textures with hard edges uses for emphasis. Text is also a frequently design element in Hot Haus’ work — with station slogans and names subtly blended into backgrounds and other elements. Another common element in Hot Haus designs is blurred, animated ring-like swashes of color that are frequently used to create subtle frames to other design elements.

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