Channel 4 came to VooDooDog with a tight deadline to produce titles, bumpers and strings for their latest program ‘The Audience’. The sequences where directed by Paul Donnellon, designed by Andrew White and produced by David Z Obadiah. The production uses a mixture of Flash animation combined with Cinema 4D whilst being comp’ed in After Effects.
Paul Donnellon on the process:
Q: What was the brief from Channel 4? How did you go about developing a response?
The brief was a very fast turnaround, we had 10 days to put together a 20 second title sequence. The idea was to base it on 1950’s poster artwork from America… those Amtrak posters, it had to be minimal - with a basic colour palette and simple graphic characters.
Myself and Andrew pulled together references out from that era and put together a moodboard which we sent over to the client. They liked this, so I put together a storyboard with loads of different ideas and panels, I was working quickly using the iPad, eventually this formed the basis of the animatic.
The story line was 50 strangers following this individual in making a life changing decision. These people were constantly following and listening to conversations of the main person, and kept popping up in unexpected places like their bedroom or bathroom. Originally the main character was a woman, but eventually this changed to a male character.
We worked with a really limited colour palette, using red, black and whites. We wanted to keep that 1950’s structure. We animated the characters as silhouettes, we didn’t want them to have specific faces or personalities. They stayed as Mr Nobody, Mr Anybody.
Our next challenge was typography. The programme had been shot, but there was no design for a typeface. We wanted the type to be an integral part of the title, so in a way we worked backwards, designing a new typeface for the project, which we then made the characters fit in, almost like a stonehenge effect, with the audience moving around the typeface.
We also had to make a cut down version, it was quite difficult to get this down to a 10 second version, as we’d designed it for 20 seconds. This was a challenge, as we wanted the story to still work with 4 shots. In the end it worked very well, and looked great in HD on TV.
The limited colours work really well, and it’s a strong piece of work, done over 10 days.