Minutes before kick-off, Nick Utter takes a break from recording on the sidelines and looks up to the video screen in Amon G. Carter Stadium in anticipation. As the Fear the Frog football introvideo begins to roll and the image of Horned Frogs players fills the screen, a subtle smile comes across his face. Finally. His work has made it on the big screen.
The 2010 graduate of the film department at TCU produced the 2013 football intro video through his production company, Nutter Productions.
“Every year the intro seems to be getting better and better, so it’s a hard thing to live up to. This year, TCU came to me and we decided to focus on the aspect of fear, so we came up with a cool script for it,” Utter said.
He said people seem to really like it.
“It was cool hearing the crowd’s reaction. My phone blew up after the game with people talking about the video and asking me questions on how we did certain shots.”
The intro was filmed in the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility. The Nutter Productions team turned off all the lights and waited until it was dark outside to begin shooting, Utter said.
To portray the football players on screen in an ominous light, Utter said he relied on heavy backlighting and used the light blocking fabric, Duvetyne, to completely black-out everything around the players.
Utter filmed at a high speed, which results in slow motion action on screen. There was even a ‘sweat guy’ on set to spray players down so that sweat would fly off them when they moved in slow motion, he said.
“I enjoy shooting sports,” Utter said, “I like the cinematic side of it. There is a lot of emotion and drama that happens in real life in a four-hour game. It’s a fun field to chase after.”
When Utter visits the TCU campus, he can often be found filming for TCU and TCU Athletics.
Nutter Productions produced this year’s Frogs for the Cure music video in Utter’s fourth consecutive year working on the creative team for the video shoot.
Utter’s resume also includes many other projects with major companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Nutter Productions initially started as a hobby for Utter while he was in high school. To raise funds to purchase equipment, Utter said he shot wedding videos and made picture slideshows. In college, Utter began to expand his clientele and add more professional equipment to his arsenal.
After graduating from TCU, Utter said he worked for a production company in Fort Worth before making the decision to go freelance. He is the driving force behind his company in which he shoots, writes, directs and edits all his own projects, often bringing in other freelancers.
Currently, Utter works out of his home where he has an editing suite and tape archive system, but said he hopes to one day expand to a studio space and hire employees.
“I’m sort of along for the ride, and I’m very happy with where it’s going. I can see myself doing this for a while and sticking with it,” he said. “I already have some big clients around the DFW area and I’d like to keep that going.”
Utter said he’s in the business of telling stories.
“We don’t just have a camera and hit record; There’s a lot of planning that goes into it. We do more than take pictures. We want to tell our client’s story and our own.”
To learn more about Nutter Productions and view current work, visit its official website.