The Olympics on Germany’s ZDF.

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Germany’s ZDF (aka Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) combines the Chinese landscape with Olympic athleticism, along with the obligatory cultural reference in the form of a flying dragon for this slick branding of their Games coverage.

– Big thanks to Ulrich for the video.

The Olympics on Norway’s NRK.

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Olympics broadcast branding has been a bucket full of cliches so far. And while the BBC’s incredibly unique take on the Games has been a much needed dose of fresh air, Norway’s national broadcaster NRK have delivered a nice spin on the usual slow motion althetes imagery with this Heroes-meets-300 inspired spot.

– Thanks to Hans for the video.

The official opening sequence of the Olympics.

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UPDATE: Added the “making of” video above.

Designed by BDA Singapore, this is the “official opening title sequence to the Beijing Olympic Games 2008″. Official because its the sequence used by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, the host broadcaster of the games set up to provide television signals of the games to the rest of the world.

The video is a combination of live action and 3D animation, and is based around the “Chinese elements of nature – metal, wood, water, fire & earth”.

Read more about the spot here and here, and thanks to Nick for the video.

The Olympics on Australia’s Seven Network.

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The Opening Ceremony may still be a day away, but the first event is about to start in the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, which means coverage has begun, and the full Olympic look of Australia’s Seven Network is being rolled out.

The BBC have taken a very unique approach to their Olympics branding, as you’ll see above Seven have stuck with the traditional “gold-infused slow-motion footage of athletes” imagery that seems to be the norm, albeit executed in a very slick fashion.

More Olympics coverage to come throughout the Games.

Television 101: An introduction to idents.

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David Mitchell, from That Mitchell and Webb Look recently narrated a Channel 4 series called TV is Dead? all about the “challenges the television industry is currently facing as a result of the digital revolution”.

One part of the series looked at the often over looked importance of television idents, something Australian television loves to dismiss, and something that this site is all about promoting. The clip should serve as an interesting introduction to the world of idents, and also offers a great peek into the UK television industry.

– Enormous thanks to Andy for the video.

And the nominees for Main Title Design are..

UPDATE: And the Emmy goes to Mad Men. The full list of winners is available here.

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The nominees for the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Main Title Design have been announced, last year Dexter won, and in the running for it this year:

> Advertising drama Mad Men from AMC
> HBO telemovie Bernard and Doris
> Geek action hero Chuck on NBC
> CIA miniseries The Company
> And cancelled Fox series New Amsterdam

For all the details on who made what, check out this. And the winner will be announced at the Creative Arts ceremony on September 13th.

20 IMG Archtypes

mandrill.jpg

A terra cotta bunny, a playboy centerfold and a Mandril. What do these things have in common you ask? If your answer was the cast list to the greatest YouTube video of all time you’d be wrong (that would be cool though). The correct answer is that these are all images used and re-used in the testing process of creating digital imagery. The folks over the unfortunately named Art Fag City have put together a post of 20 CG Image Archetypes for your browsing pleasure. Lots of good history and links here. Take a look.

[LINK] (http://www.artfagcity.com/2008/07/28/img-mgmt-20-archetypes/) to the original post (marginally NSFW because it has a naked teapot in it)

Thanks to Azathoth for the link

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Goodbye Starbucks, Hello TiVo.

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On the same day that Starbucks announced they were bailing out Australia, another iconic American brand is launching itself here, hopefully with better results.

TiVo, the personal video recorder that became a verb, went on sale around the country today. Backed by the Seven Network, and with no monthy fees, its being positioned as the anti-Foxtel, although slightly steep at $699, the theory is thats all you’ll ever pay.

Check out the iPod inspired commercial for the new device above.

The aerial idents of Al Jazeera English.

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An incredibly simple use of aerial footage, combined with the familiar beats of music that screams “you’re watching a news channel” create a surprisingly effective collection of idents for Al Jazeera English.

They express the kind of simple dignity that an international news channel broadcasting to over 100 million people should command, as opposed to say this.

– Big thanks to Sean for the videos.

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting, on the BBC.

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Here’s a challenge for you: condense a 400-year-old, 100 chapter Chinese novel into a two minute animated trailer for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Actually, don’t worry, the BBC have already done it…

That’s right, they’ve abandoned the traditional “gold-infused slow-motion footage of athletes” Olympics imagery in favour of something a bit more creative.

Animated by Gorillaz creator Jamie Hewlett with music by Damon Albarn, this video of Monkey and his friends made its debut last night in the UK at 7:27pm with a simulcast across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four and BBC News, and will form the centrepiece of the BBC’s Olympic coverage branding.