- Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2014
Creative Studio Leviathan Unveils Main Titles for SundanceTV's New Original Series "The Road Road"
The principals of creative studio Leviathan are very proud to reveal their collaborations with the creators of the new SundanceTV original scripted series, "The Red Road." Leviathan earned the assignment to create the main titles via the series' creative team including producers Bridget Carpenter and Sarah Condon, and show creator and writer Aaron Guzikowski. The resulting :30 animated sequence introduces each episode of the series which debuted on February 27th on SundanceTV.
Leviathan's visually arresting title sequence uses a signature black-and-red color palette that begins with red highway dividers moving into camera on a black field, indicating a vehicle moving down a highway. Those markings soon swirl into a red wash that floods the screen, where various black shapes and patterns transform the picture into scenes that are both recognizable and obscure (for example, a river that may be a twisted face, and a forest fringed with macabre outlines). Approaching the 30-second mark, the moving red trail reappears on black and splits in two directions. The camera follows one of them, which finds and underscores the words, "The Red Road."
"Leviathan was incredibly collaborative and the creative process around designing these titles was seamless," said Guzikowski. "They had a deep understanding of our artistic vision and executed it with precision and originality."
"As Aaron explained to us, 'The Red Road' is about uncovering and exploring secrets, and not being able to control nature," said Leviathan's executive creative director Jason White. "This put us on track to create an artful, visually simple title sequence with a powerful, arresting, emotional tone. We wanted to create something timeless, where viewers are likely to spot unique aspects of the visuals with each viewing."
Along with Leviathan creative director Bradon Webb and executive producer Chad Hutson, White provided more insights into the studio's research and creative approach to the project. "As we understand it," White said, "The Red Road is a pathway to truth, peace and harmony - which we began to draw. After several creative explorations, we developed a few style frames with a mysterious, growing red line that signifies a spiritual journey through landscapes and emotional spaces as we perceived it from the point-of-view of the Native tribe depicted in the series."
"After going through this process, we started with a simple red line," Webb added. "This was perfect for our narrative because it could be shaped into anything. Duality of meaning was something we sought to convey by using images that can evoke both good and bad. We had a lot of fun hiding these representations throughout the narrative."
For their production workflow, Leviathan's artists created their designs and compositions in 2D, using Adobe Creative Suite's Photoshop and Illustrator. Once storyboarded, the original outlines and shapes were converted into extruded 3D surfaces with Autodesk's Mudbox and Maya packages, as well as Maxon's Cinema 4D. "Every scene was turned into a 3D landscape that a virtual camera could move through and record reactions to lighting," Webb continued. "High contrast black-and-white renders were composited and tinted in Adobe After Effects for the final color scheme." The main title's musical theme is courtesy of Daniel Licht.
"Although Leviathan has gained a reputation for melding innovative content with technology, at the core of each of our projects are compelling narratives and conceptual design," Hutson concluded. "To us, this project is the perfect combination of both, and we're elated to have had the opportunity to work with such brilliant collaborators on behalf of the SundanceTV."
Along with White, Webb and Hutson, Leviathan's credits also include chief scientist Matt Daly, producer Ellen Schopler, animation/VFX artists Anthony Malagutti, Katrina Nelken, Kyle Shoup and Ely Beyer and design assistant Sara Ridky.
To learn more about "The Red Road," please visit http://sundance.tv/series/the-red-road.
Leviathan (http://lvthn.com) is a creative studio that crafts animated content and immersive installations for brands, agencies and entertainers worldwide. Melding skills such as CG, motion graphics, software development and physical design, the studio's artists and engineers have the unique ability to fascinate audiences with visuals and experiences spanning commercial advertising, live events, film, television and environments. Founded in Chicago in 2010 by partners Matt Daly, Chad Hutson and Jason White, Leviathan has garnered international recognition for its animation, visual effects and experiential work.