ManvsMachine – Film 4 Idents

September 5, 2014
by Tim Rabjohns

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    Sometimes you get a tingly feeling when you watch something that says it’s going to be a classic.  This is the feeling I got when I saw these idents for the first time.  Lots of the right ingredients are there – references to many well know films, a very filmic high quality “look”, and lets face it, a flaming pink hotel corridor in slow motion and a grand piano falling towards the camera!
    Combined with their custom motion technique – (what looks like frames of a film going through the gate in slow motion at the start of each sequence) and the non-UK Locations – it’s safe to say that ManVsMachine have done it again…

    Film 4 ident corridor_fire
    I spoke to Mike Alderson to get more info: “After a successful creative pitch for Film4 we set out to create a film channel rather than a tv channel,covering all on-air aspects of the brand from idents to OSP and beyond.

    We also developed a custom motion technique – which is a contemporary take on a classic film strip / projector effect, was developed to span graphic and live-action elements to give the package a visual signature beyond the logo.  

Needing to cater to ultimate film buffs and occasional action movie fans alike, this filtered down into details such as a film poster inspired typographic system that intelligently resizes titles to occupy a designated screen space, giving all films an equal billing whether it be ‘ET’ or ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’.

    [vimeo w=573&h=322]

    The idents see the technique applied to cinematic live action compositions, presenting the Film4 logo in various locations. Each location/scene carefully crafted to elicit a variety of different moods. Idents begin ambiguously before seamlessly branching off into one of three possible endings, making minimal adjustments to shift the mood dramatically. Each of the idents is constructed from a vast array of film references and homages; from the iconic to the obscure.

The technique itself became a celebration of film craft, allowing us to mix live action with stop motion (the logo), and a healthy dose of post production, applied by the talented team at Analog. Not forgetting the beautifully cinematic score by Resonate.”

    I think I can feel a “Spot The References” competition coming on – I think it’s safe to say that the pink corridor with the scooter references The Shining, and the kids on the bikes in the petrol station feels a bit like JJ Abraham’s Super8  – if you think you can spot some of your own put them in the comment boxes below…

    CREDITS:Concept, Design & Direction:ManvsMachine, Agency & Production Company:
4creative, Creative Director:Dan Chase (Channel 4), Producer:Liz Arnott (Channel 4), DOP:Alex Barber, Art Direction / Set Design:Simon Davies (UK), Max Orgell (US), Post Production VFX:Analog, Colourist:Aubrey Woodiwss (Electric Theatre Collective), Offline Editors:Alex Lea (Envy), Nick Armstrong (Envy), Music Composition:Resonate


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