AJ Hanneld and I used our shared love of 80s film to explore Motion Design, Film Production and 3D content creation. Updating pre-existing content using modern tools allowed us to learn new skills that would be required in today's TV and movie related design scenarios. We started research for every package by watching the film while taking notes. From there we would mood board separately and share our ideas before moving forward. After deciding on a creative direction, we moved into either filming or editing pre-recorded assets and adding the motion graphics. After the video portion was completed, we produced a series of posters and box art for the updated title sequence design.
An American Werewolf in London is one of my favorite films. We knew the only way to realize our vision for this piece was to film it ourselves. This piece took the longest out of everything we did, but involved filming, editing, motion graphics and 3D asset intergration.
After writing the script and storyboarding, we did some location scouting and ended up in Seattle's Discovery Park. It was important for the piece to be shot outside. We wanted to show the banality of the character's day to day life while the wilds of nature were closing in around him. It was an extremely cold winter morning, but we took off our coats and shoes and started filming. Using film and 3D models in post-production, we told the story of a man slowly letting the wolf inside take over his life.
We added a story element where the character gets cursed by a witch. This is the first time I really got to dive into prop making and I designed pages for the witch's spell book. For this portion we headed into a photo studio and spent a great deal of time getting the lighting right. This turned into one of my favorite moments on the title sequence.
After post-production was done, a collateral package was made based on the new title sequence direction and color scheme.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was an obvious choice for us. The current title sequence as it is, it was ripe for a reimagining. For this piece, after making our mood boards we boiled the theme of the sequence down to the three things this movie is really about; blood, water and oil. Using macro videography we mixed motor oil, molasses and food coloring into a fish tank and shot the abstract swirls throughout the sequence. In order to give it a bit of narrative, scenes were taken from the first two Mad Max films to give the viewer a sense of history and context. We then added typography and some motion graphics.
For the posters, we wanted them to look gritty and stained; almost as if someone had figured out how to print posters again in the apocalyptic landscape of the films.
The Thing was an interesting one in that we wanted the viewer to get a sense that our cultural understanding of alien life was ultimately flawed as John Carpenter's version lands on earth. For this, clips from TV and movies were used that showed light hearted alien creatures throughout recent pop culture. We created a false movie projection in After Effects and showed these characters on screen as the credits roll by. At the end, the camera pans up to see The Thing crashing to earth in it's ship.
We loved the idea of doing the main title "The Thing" ourselves. The title was laser cut and taken into the studio to shoot with lights and canned smoke. The practical effect was then laid over the footage.
After the completion of this project, both of us had spent countless hours in After Effects, Premiere and Cinema 4D. Neither of us started with very much experience with these programs, but we didn't let that stifle our imaginations or creativity. If we didn't know how to do something, we figured it out. The end result is not only a few projects that we're very proud of, but a whole new skill set for us both and a love for filming and post-production.