- Thursday, May. 21, 2015
Pitch Perfect 2, Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Entertainment’s hit comedy currently in theaters, features opening and end titles crafted by Nice Shoes Creative Studio. Nice Shoes Creative Director James Coulson and CG Supervisor Steve Parish earned director/producer Elizabeth Banks’ nod with a wicked sense of humor and an inventive approach utilizing light drawing to beautifully illustrate humorous and risqué moments from the film.
The pitch was inspired by thematic keywords provided by Banks: graffiti, flashlight and rebellion. Nice Shoes Creative Studio explored and presented several unique ideas, tapping into local graffiti artists and using different approaches for the titles. The filmmakers ultimately gravitated toward one idea that utilized LED flashlights, which was then developed in full after the team saw an edit of the comedy.
“The original Pitch Perfect logo was done as graffiti. In this film, the Bellas compete against the other teams - who sing covers - with an original song called ‘Flashlight’. The current fascination with writing with LED flashlights over long camera exposures seemed to be a perfect, thematic match,” said Coulson.
With a preproduction schedule of two weeks and a production schedule of just three weeks, Creative Studio’s technique included the creation of a number of in-camera elements. “We wanted to do as much as possible in-camera to make the light drawing more realistic than if it had been achieved digitally. We even created a font from scratch, shooting each letter individually and with multiple iterations, to make it feel handmade,” elaborated Coulson. “We also captured the feathers for a pillow fight sequence in-camera.”
The team then applied the light concept to 35 technical and cast cards. “We constructed a narrative using key moments from the film,” explained Parish. “and the filmmakers appreciated our sense of humor.”
“One of the most complex scenes was the logo reveal in the end title sequence. We wanted to have a big sweeping camera move through the audience as they waved their flashlights. The audience was represented by illuminated dots, and we came up with a 3,000 light particle system that had to sway organically in time with the music,” he continued. “I had to program it so that it had a realistic sense and feel. There are actually hundreds of different animations, at different heights, randomly distributed throughout these particles.”
Bridging the main titles to the cast section is the Gold Circle Entertainment logo, which was crafted using the same long exposure technique. “Gold Circle graciously allowed us to create a custom version of their logo to fit within our light concept so we weren’t breaking momentum,” noted Coulson.
The cast section features each actor highlighted with a light drawing relating to their character. The Creative Studio worked to create interactions with the light motifs that would allow the audience to spend more time with the characters and their memorable moments, in addition to keeping the energy going.
Banks was impressed with Creative Studio’s work: “It was really important that the title sequences reflected the characters and the identity of the series while also helping this film stand out on its own” she said. “The Nice Shoes team delivered an approach that hit the right tone with humor and originality. We wanted to give the audience a chance to spend more time with Beca, Fat Amy, and everyone they’ve come to love across these two films, and the end credits achieve that beautifully.”
About Nice Shoes
Nice Shoes offers end-to-end production and post-production solutions for brands, marketers, and advertising agencies alike. As a creative partner, Nice Shoes has helped our clients to perfect the marketing of nearly every household brand name in America. We are equally adept working from concept through completion or anywhere in-between, including production, design, color, finishing or visual effects. Discover what drives us, here: www.niceshoes.com.
About Pitch Perfect 2
The Barden Bellas are back to pitch slap the world in Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up to 2012’s runaway global hit about a group of lovable misfits with only one thing in common: the irresistible way they sound when they’re seamlessly mixed together, mashed-up and arranged like never before. www.pitchperfectmovie.com