Red Rock – Making of the Opening Titles
Red Rock series three is back on our screens every Monday night on TV3 at 9:30 in a new one hour long format. This post-watershed time-slot allows the show’s writers to bring the script to a darker, more sinister places. This needed to be reflected in the show’s opening titles, which would help set the tone for the new series, expressing the murkier side of the fictional seaside town. Once the brief was given to us, we immediately started on mood boards. We needed to create a sequence that was an evolution of the original titles rather than something entirely different. The previous titles featured the lighthouse illuminating footage from the show with a subtle passing of time from night to day. For the new sequence, we decided to keep that sense of time passing, but add elements that would help build tension making the overall feel of the sequence more ominous and foreboding. Nature was to be this sinister element. The idea of a storm brewing and building as day faded in to a turbulent night, seemed to fit the brief of creating a natural evolution from the original titles.
Initial ideas started with the possibility of utilising broken glass to reveal the footage. Inspired by the shattered motif of the Red Rock logo, slices of layered footage from the show would roll over the shot. Nature was more in the foreground at this early stage, with macro shots of long grass blowing in the wind, culminating with waves crashing against craggy rocks.
To achieve these shots, we paired up with our production partners Areaman Productions to shoot the nature and coastal shots we needed. Some of these we needed to use as full screen shots, others we needed for compositing work. The lighthouse for example, needed to appear in several shots; close-up, far away, day time and night time. This had to be rotoscoped and composited into various background plates, and the light beam composited afterwards.
Red Rock was not only to be darker, but there would be more of an urban grit to series three. Feedback stated that the sequence should reflect this and be much darker throughout. We moved away from the macro shots of grass and ditched the glass shards. We went darker, keeping the storm building throughout, juxtaposing its growing momentum with increasingly turbulent shots from the show.
Finally, the logo animation at the end of the sequence had to be something more striking than a feathered reveal. The lightning in the final shot presented a real opportunity to give the new all white design prominence and an arresting final reveal.
Thank you to all those who were closely involved in supporting and guiding us throughout process. Special thanks to Paul Walker (Series Producer, Red Rock ), Kim Revill, (Showrunner, Red Rock ), Paula Heffernan (Element Pictures), Gemma O’Shaughnessy (Red Rock), Andrew Byrne (TV3), Tom Burke (Areaman Productions), John Yorke (Producer, Red Rock) and Pat Kiely (TV3, CEO).
See the full opening sequence