“Like many of our title sequences, the concepts all began life in Adobe Photoshop and evolved outwards from six to nine concept frames to approximately 40 frame boards.
Client: HBO Max
Director: Antonio Campos
Show Runners: Antonio Campos, Maggie Cohn
Producer: Christina M. Fitzgerald
ECD: Erin Sarofsky
Executive Producer: Steven Anderson
Creative Director: Stefan Draht
Producer: Dylan Ptak
Editor: Tom Pastorelle
Finishing: Cory Davis
3D Animation: Nik Braatz, Andrea Braga, Oskar Fülöp, Dean Ripper, Jake Thomas, Tanner Wickware
Typographer: Cat McCarthy
Concept Development: Andrea Braga, Stefan Draht, Cat McCarthy
Storyboard Artist: Tricia Kleinot
“The huge challenge with a material like glass is sheer render time: how long it’s going to take to produce a clean 4K frame. For this reason, we landed on using GPU-based rendering solutions which allowed our artists to preview the materials during the look-development phase.
“The idea of using the staircase as a visual element was an open question, which prompted us to think about ways to avoid obvious solutions.
“This sequence does that, but more importantly, by presenting these Escher-like impossible spaces and portraying the interior of the house as a maze, it really presents a lens through which the audience can view the series in a visually exciting way.
With the construction of a mutating translucent labyrinth, ECD Erin Sarofsky and her design team set an enigmatic tone for the HBO Max series “The Staircase” while hinting at the calculated nature of the crime that inspired it.
“By presenting these Escher-like impossible spaces and portraying the interior of the house as a maze, it really presents a lens through which the audience can view the series in a visually exciting way.”
“After testing multiple renderers, the team opted for Octane Render. All 3D animation was created using Maxon Cinema4D, with 2D animation and compositing handled in After Effects. Final color grading and finishing were done in Flame.”
Sarofsky CD Stefan Draht: “Thematically, showrunners Antonio Campos and Maggie Cohn were focused on the layering and complexity the show wrestles with. Aspects of this include the lack of clarity around the main plot, the importance of the characters’ varying perspectives, and family dynamics.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2022