Case study

LIAM HEALEY
SHOWREEL TITLES

I was commissioned to create an introductory title for a cinematographer’s showreel.

Tools used:




The client

Liam Healey is a North England-based cinematographer who works on large-scale cinematic productions including short films, feature-length films, music videos and more.

The brief

Liam wanted his showreel to begin with a cinematic title sequence that reflects the start of many major movie productions. He wanted to instill his potential clients with a sense of cinematic prestige that would land him a commanding seat behind the camera of future productions.

Style

The main reference for this project was the Studio Canal opening title sequence. (Screenshot?) What I took from this was a sense of elegance, vibrant but film stock-appropriate colours and cinematic qualities such as CinemaScope and added film grain such as that which was added to Studio Canal’s CGI creation.

“Chris helped us with the editing of over 25 videos and we were blown away by the quality of his work and understanding of what we needed. We had a short deadline and Chris worked efficiently with our team to make sure that the videos were delivered on time. He was able to take complex subjects and create visually pleasing videos which enabled the viewer to understand the video subjects. I would not hesitate to recommend working with Chris and hope we can work together in the future!”

Jess Saurmarez

Head of Marketing, Stephenson Law

Process

Liam shoots predominantly on digital cinema cameras, but deeply appreciates the aesthetic of movies shot on 35mm film. With this in mind, I initially chose to use the digital image building blocks of red, green and blue as the colour scheme and animated bars of these colours streaming in both directions past the frame.

I combined this with bokeh (out of focus point light) overlays that I created by poking holes in a thick piece of card and holding it in front of an LED light while filming it with an unfocused DSLR, with a little handheld motion. Various versions of this footage were graded for added warmth and then layered in, appearing and disappearing behind the RGB bars as they floated past.

Liam’s name and “Director of Photography” title are revealed character by character by the RGB bars. After the other elements fade out in the background, the text animates out with the effect of film stock burning up in a projector.

To tie together the cinematic look I created the sequence in standard 24fps with a cinema-standard 180º motion blur and added monochromatic film grain.

An overall grade was applied to emulate film stock colours – which in conjunction with the RGB colour bars, achieved colour properties of both digital and classic cinema.


Summary of approach

• Building on the band’s retro/neon brand identity and recognising current trends to find relevant references.

• Designing an aesthetic that felt both vintage and modern/minimalist whilst reminding audiences of live gigs (thus making audiences excited to see this band perform live).

• Matching the energy of the song as it rose and fell in different sections.

• Consistently reiterating the band’s style throughout, contributing to future brand recognition.