Show titles are a passion for us at Super77. Sure, they won’t always pay the bills, but they give us a chance to push ourselves out of our comfort zones while trying new techniques. When we were approached by our friends at Thinkfactory Media to work on Killer Beauty, the concept and visceral nature of the show was too badass for us to pass up.
It all started with their treatment for the show:
The pursuit of beauty has separated friends, created dangerous love triangles and split shallow lovers…could it also be a motive for murder? We forget that beauty is often the root of jealousy and jealousy is often the root of murder. By changing ourselves, are we alienating the people we love most? From pageant queens to envious killers, is murder the only way to get the attention back on these violent seekers of all things physically appealing? Beauty is a weapon so be careful how you use it!
Super77 and Thinkfactory conceptualized the titles together. Right away, we knew we wanted the opening to be a footage based piece. It had to be: Classy, Shocking, Beautiful, Bloody, Risque, Campy, and Sexy - all rolled into one. The idea was to capture something gorgeous and horrific at the same time. We settled on the idea of a non-narrative montage that ratchets up tension throughout the sequence.
We planned to achieve this by juxtaposing sexualized, beautiful women with slowly building hints of blood – playing directly back to the sensibilities of the show’s title.
Our crew of five produced everything – from directing, casting, makeup and props to our homemade, edible “blood.” We’ve worked on plenty of projects with the help of live-action production companies, but we wanted to get our hands dirty and expand our capabilities for this one. To make this happen, we hit up our pals at Ohio HD and rented mass gear. We received a crash course on camera operations (thanks casey!) for the RED Epic and were on our way. We chose to shoot on the RED due to its ability to shoot 120FPS. We fit everything into a 2 day shoot, recording more than 10 hours of content. This was a great opportunity to christen our new compound cyc wall which has since become a necessity for many projects.
The Killer Beauty logo began with a sketch-storming session then graduated to illustrator roughs. After many revisions the final design is based on Didot, a classic display font with hairline serifs like stiletto heels, sharp and sexy! The angular letters are contrasted with a feminine swashes and curves, bringing together the elegant and the dangerous.
One of the more fun and challenging aspects from production was coming up with the perfect fake blood to splatter on our models. Sara and Chavilah lead the charge, trying a number of custom recipes. We finally settled on two types – one that was perfect for splattering, and one that was more vicious which we used for the drips. They were both edible, but we aren’t using them as condiments quite yet.
Being involved on Killer Beauty was a blast for us. Having the freedom to take risks was incredibly rewarding and we are absolute suckers for learning new technology to expand our creativity.