The opening titles of ESPN’s sports journalism series, Backstory, hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Don Van Natta, Jr., are much like the stories he reports: multilayered and ambitious.
Each episode of the series serves as a cold-case investigation of a story from sports’ archives. Van Natta, Jr. peels back the layers of each story to bring new insights and reporting to some of sports’ most historic moments, starting with Serena Williams’ infamous 2018 disagreement with Umpire Carlos Ramos at tennis’ U.S. Open.
To reflect those themes, production agency Spillt created an opening titles and graphics package that blends sports, investigative journalism and elements from Van Natta, Jr.’s career spanning the Miami Herald, New York Times and ESPN.
The package—which airs in a traditionally journalist palette of black, white and red—integrates live-action shots, CGI elements and scans of physical articles and notes from Van Natta Jr.’s work.
Backstory originally premiered on ABC on Sunday, August 18, and re-airs across ESPN’s family of networks.
Senior Coordinating Producer: Julie McGlone
Producer: Phil Dean
Manager: Amanda Paschal
Managing Producer: Aimee Stokes
Producer: JeanLuc Ladouceur, Garrett Hedstrom
Production Coordinator: Amanda Braunlich
Editor: Samantha Nicodemo, Nate Ayob
Production: Bluefoot Entertainment
Direction: Ed Rhine
Creative Director: Ed Rhine
Art Director: Jason Oberg
Senior Producer: Julie Morrandez
Senior Designers/Animators: Jason Oberg, Miles Petrock
Animator: Zach Hartman
Mix Master: Tim Spero
Narration: Don Van Natta, Jr.
Composers: Boris Zelkin, Deeji Mincey
Tags: backstory bluefoot entertainment don van natta jr. espn hot spots main titles spillt