Multi-disciplinary creative agency Monarchy, although a relatively new company, won 17 awards at PromaxBDA Africa last year and earlier this year won 10 awards at the international PromaxBDA event in the US, including Creative Design Team of the Year (Out of House).
Monarchy director and co-owner Delarey Hattingh notes that their entries this year includes work for clients on the DStv platform such as the M-Net Movie channels, the Africa Magic channels and Afrikaans channel kykNET.
One of their entries is the intro sequence for the second season of M-Net location-based soap The Wild, for client and executive producer of The Wild, Bobby Heaney of Imani Media.
Hattingh explains: “We did the intro sequence for the first season of The Wild, and loved it. For the second season we were re-briefed and asked to make it darker, more dramatic and to take it outside – into nature – a lot more. Of course it’s twice as big, with half the budget.’
He explains that they kept the core concept of the “evil underneath the polished surfaces’. “We tried to make the theme evolve by keeping some of the iconic shots we had in the first season but to rework it for the second one. The score was rewritten to be more epic – bigger and darker – and all the shots were a lot more aggressive. Luckily our client was very open to all the ideas we had.’
This included the idea from their creative director, Nicci Hattingh, to put a grand piano in a river. Continues Hattingh: “We were shooting with crocodiles (where we lost a camera), snakes and falcons. We also had naked people in a veld and we burnt down massive trees. So it was produced on an enormous scale, and was lots of fun for us to do.’
The intro sequence was shot in high definition (HD) on a RED Epic camera with all production and post-production done in-house.
“Pre-production was quite extensive, and from shoot to delivery was about two or three weeks. There is lots of CG that most people won’t notice – we added fire to the burning tree and we did some CG animals for the shots where we couldn’t use real animals.’
After the shoot the footage had to be converted to ProRes for editing on Final Cut. Compositing was done on After Effects, 3D on 3D Studio Max and design in Adobe Photoshop.
Hattingh believes that a good promo needs to enlist emotion. “It can be the prettiest thing, it can be high concept, but if people don’t feel anything, it is a complete waste. More money and more time doesn’t mean more effective.’
By Linda Loubser
screen africa magazine – october 2012