Everyone has been loving The Night Manager. The show’s gripping storytelling paired with its incredible performances from the likes of Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie have been captivating audiences for weeks.
But one thing about the show that leaves audiences everywhere mesmerised is its gorgeously animated opening titles. How exactly were these made, and who is responsible for making them?
A company called Elastic, based in Los Angeles, is responsible for creating these titles, notably its Australian creative director Patrick Clair and American producer Zac Wakefield. They are the first main titles for a UK drama Clair — who won an Emmy in 2014 for his titles for US hit True Detective — has worked on.
“The UK production team, The Ink Factory, were full of ideas, but they gave us a lot of freedom and encouragement,” he tells RT. “The director, Susanne Bier, put it to us that she wanted to combine luxurious imagery with weaponry. I tried to give it an edge by turning to fashion references. Hopefully it’s seductive, but also a bit sickening.
“I’ve worked on documentaries that explore the ethics of warfare, and I’m fascinated by that side of it. There’s something really powerful in seeing these machines of death rendered in gilded luxury.”
So how many people were at work on the titles? “An unusually small team — a design team of five and an animation team of just three.” And how long did it take to create what takes only about 45 seconds of screen time? “We were working on it over a period of about three months — the essence stayed the same, but the imagery evolved a great deal. You know that feeling when you’ve eaten too much sugar? We tried to do that with colour, where everything is a little too saturated so you get that sickly, decadent feeling.
“It’s a sequence I felt very lucky to get to work on. And from all reports the show is unfolding in a magnificent way.”