Volume 32 / September 09, 2020

Volume 32

Client

ABC, Netflix, Epix

A closer look at our work on Dancing with the Stars, (Un)Well and Helter Skelter.

Volume 32

Runway to Ballroom

Dancing with the Stars

Promo Package

Dancing with the Stars

All the spots craved an elegant, high energy environment to reveal the cast and Tyra, while being modular enough to take shape and transform. With some challenges presented by limited studio time and social distancing, there was an opportunity to make a lot with a little.

01/03

We generated calculated combinations of 3d minimal VFX and the blue screen footage to make all the initial ideas not only possible, but as sexy as Dancing with the Stars and Tyra deserved them to be.

Ultimately, we all felt that the “Runway to Ballroom” approach captured the connection between Tyra’s main stage, and her new environment, to really accentuate her top model energy and make way for the new talent.

We ended up with a photo-real render that would allow us to speed ramp in and out and bring dynamic lighting to each scene. Ultimately, we all felt that the “Runway to Ballroom” approach captured the connection between Tyra’s main stage, and her new environment, to really accentuate her top model energy and make way for the new talent.

Ultimately, ABC provided us with locked edits and we built out 9 spots in total to fit vertical, horizontal and social layouts ready for prime time. We also had our master-toolkitter, Lung, build simple, easy to use AE files for the ABC team to use for imagery swaps.

It was an extraordinary, spirited process with the ABC team, with the energy of everyone’s hard work and dedication, truly shining in each spot. Thanks again for the dance!

body and mind

(Un)Well

Series Graphics Package

(Un)Well

Starting with our approach to the title sequence, we used the human figure as a metaphor for two states of being: wellness and unwellness. The figures representing wellness are posed almost spiritually in a light-filled sublime, while we intercut with tableaus of the same figures falling, and sinking in a dark chasm. Layered elements to these scenes like flowers and money start off stark and strong, before crumpling and dying or turning to dust. Created in Cinema4D and rendered in Redshift, we were able to establish a sense of depth to each scene, towing the line between elation and despair at every transition.

01/05

The title sequence look would greatly inform our approach to the episodic graphics, especially in terms of using 3D figures. Re-iterating this language into the “body graphics”, we created male and female 3D models and a 3D brain to help communicate what happens to the body internally in various situations; for example, what happens when the body has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, or what happens in the brain during an orgasm.

Our 3D language was also reflected across the board for our infographics, including explainers for how a pyramid scheme works, to a conceptual “supermarket” stocked with bottles of breast milk.

Implementing our 3D language into the “body graphics”, we built male and female 3D models and a 3D brain to help communicate what happens to the body internally in various situations.

On top of our infographic and 3D figures, we delivered a range of documents, website and photo treatments, and Instagram scrolls.

A huge thanks to the team at Left/Right for their close collaboration throughout the development of the series! Watch (Un)Well, streaming on Netflix now.

the family

Helter Skelter

Series Graphics Package

Helter Skelter

Alongside Director Lesley Chilcott and the Invented by Girls team, we developed a tactile, emotive graphics package to help tell the familiar story of Charles Manson. For the 6-part Epix docu-series, Helter Skelter, we wanted to evoke the feeling of time and place as much as possible, steering away from bringing focus to the violence the Manson family committed, and creating a graphics look more centered around the journalistic approach to their crimes.

Inspired by 1960s Los Angeles, burnt orange color palettes and smog, we leaned into a more “shot” feeling for our overall graphics approach.

Initial title sequence design concepts

Our initial design exploration started with a psychedelic, chaotic approach, the embodiment of Helter Skelter. With that first pass out of our system, we shifted gears to a more practical, gritty design language, better suited to the story and Lesley’s vision. Inspired by 1960s Los Angeles, burnt orange color palettes and smog, we leaned into a more “shot” feeling for our overall graphics approach.

The idea of our main title sequence sprang from wanting to represent Manson as a coyote, a wanderer and predator - mixed with various iconography and archival clips, exposed onto beautiful, iconic b-roll footage of LA, and celluloid film stock, we were able to infuse all of these elements into the sequence with a kind of controlled chaos. Using subliminal nods to the press, the opening credits type was comped in with text from a real teletype, shot by Lesley’s team.

01/03

Across the series we developed our “in-camera”, practical language, from newspaper clippings to maps of LA and Death Valley to old rap sheets that would tally up Manson’s adolescent crimes as he moved from place to place.

Tying off the series, our lower thirds and locators complete the journalistic nod with a custom teletype font. We were also given the opportunity to create backgrounds for interviews that had been shot on green-screen- setting the tone for each interviewee’s environment and their involvement in Manson’s story.

Thanks to Lesley and team for their ideas and collaboration throughout - we loved every step of the process. All 6 episodes of Helter Skelter: An American Myth are now available on Epix!

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