With the Cavaliers home opener set for Oct. 30, the team’s front office contacted Think Media Studios in early October. The Cavaliers relayed to Potoczak and Hardy a general outline of things they wanted to see in this season’s video.
”This year, they came to us and they had this ’fire’ idea. They wanted to use more fire. That was really their biggest thing,” Hardy said. ”So they just let us throw around some ideas, and a couple people on their staff had three or four ideas as well. They wanted to do more than one opener. Not all the ideas got thrown out. A lot of them stayed around because of the possibility that they could be used for other openers. We had about two days to really develop something.”
After spending those days brainstorming and forumlating a plan that would incorporate the ideas the Cavaliers organization had brought to them, Potoczak and Hardy met with the Cavs a second time to propose their concept.
”[Hardy] and I sat down and we started throwing around some ideas. Instantly we were like, maybe there won’t be a theme, but maybe let’s just do a music video. We’ll try [hip-hop artist and Cleveland native] Machine Gun Kelly. So that was our main idea that we wanted to pitch to them,” Potoczak said. When we got there, they went first; and literally the first thing they pitched was possibly doing something with Machine Gun Kelly. [Owner] Dan Gilbert was one of the head frontrunners about using Machine Gun Kelly.”
”It was almost identical,” Hardy said of each side’s pitch.
Having immediately agreed on using Machine Gun Kelly in the video, the guys still needed to address the Cavs’ request to make fire a focal point of the video.
”[The Cavs] like to tell a story in their openers. So in this one, the fire burns inside of the players and the fans and the city, and it kind of bursts out. So we thought why don’t we combine the two? We’ll make it a music video, but we’ll show the players sort of erupting on fire as it goes,” Potoczak said.
The idea was born. The guys would model this season’s intro as a music video starring a Cleveland artist, while adding fire as a special effect. With the blueprint in place, it was time to create the visuals.