Sinclair-owned WEYI and WSMH, which includes both NBC 25 and Fox 66, wants Flint, Mich., area viewers to beat “Old Man Winter” and stay storm-ready in a creative promo featuring their entire meteorology team.
The 30-second clip, which premiered Super Bowl weekend, features the NBC25/FOX66 meteorology team of Jamie Kagol, Ahmad Bajjey, Leslie Toldo and Nick Russo—each appearing outdoors in simulated frigid conditions as “Old Man Winter” blows cold air and frosty snow onto the mid-Michigan landscape.
“My goal is always to make an emotional connection with viewers and often comedy is the best way to create a buzz,” says Jeff Varga, director of the spot, “I am constantly trying to reinvent the TV news promo and look for ways to build iconic images. After developing some 3D versions of the character, I wasn’t achieving what I wanted. I looked at producer Chris Barrus and he went off with Promotions Coordinator Jessica Rodgers who volunteered to do the makeup. It was actually a non-toxic metallic craft paint and sugar was used around his eyebrows, hair and beard to create an ice crystals effect. That got us a quarter of the way there. A combination of After Effects filters and some rotoscoping to brighten and color the eyes took it the rest of the way. I understand he drove home that night.”
Writer/Producer/Editor/VFX: Jeff Varga
Promotions Director: Jamie Harris
Promotions Manager: Phil Krapohl
Old Man Winter: Chris Barrus
Makeup: Jess Rodgers