jason scrivner


multimedia designer & content strategist

Graphics Command: Powering the Warrior Games Display

April 13, 2024

Stepping Up to the Challenge

In 2019, just a few months before the Warrior Games were set to open in Tampa, FL, a big shake-up left the event’s original planning team out of the picture. A friend took over the reins and, facing tight deadlines, planned to keep things simple with just a stage and two side screens at the Amalie Arena. That’s when he called me to help with the graphics package, and I jumped at the chance.

Expanding the Vision

During our initial meetings with USSOCOM representatives, who were hosting the event, I was handed the existing print materials. These featured red and blue smoke backgrounds, a palm tree logo, and logos from all the military branches and participating countries. The idea was to animate these elements to bring them to life on the screens.

Maximizing the Venue’s Potential

When I learned that the Amalie Arena had recently upgraded its AV system, I knew we had to take full advantage of it. Home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the arena is equipped with an array of screens designed to amplify fan experiences by evoking emotion and enhancing the sensory experience of events. With this in mind, it seemed only fitting to use every available screen for the Warrior Games opening ceremonies. The arena’s screens aren’t just functional; they’re transformative, intended to heighten excitement and engagement. Recognizing this, I was determined to ensure that the ceremony was not only memorable but also a sensory feast that honored the spirit and intensity of the competition.

All Hands on Deck

Living in Tampa, I booked a hotel room right next to the arena to set up a temporary studio. This allowed me to manage last-minute changes efficiently. With speakers and schedules still in flux, I was creating lower-thirds graphics right up to the last minute. It was a whirlwind of production, often running files over to the control room even as the event was underway.

Shifting Focus to Photography

Once the main event kicked off and my responsibilities with the graphics were complete, I switched gears to photography. This allowed me to capture the raw emotions and memorable moments of the competition from a new perspective. It was an opportunity to document the strength and perseverance of the athletes in a more intimate, immediate way, complementing the broader visual narrative I had helped create with the screens.

The Event Unfolds

The opening ceremony was a blur of activity, but seeing the graphics come together across multiple screens around the arena was exhilarating. The animated smoke and logos added a dynamic layer to the atmosphere, celebrating the spirit and resilience of the athletes.

A Moment of Recognition

After the event, as I chatted with my friend and the event’s lead organizer, a general approached to compliment the event’s execution, especially the work of the graphics team. My friend pointed my way and said, “Well, here’s your graphics team right here.” It was a proud moment, being recognized for our hard work in front of such an esteemed audience.

Reflecting on the Impact

This project wasn’t just a technical challenge; it was a privilege. The Warrior Games are more than just a competition; they’re a testament to the strength and patriotism. Contributing to such an event was an honor—one of the highlights of my career.

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