Currently in London cinemas and opening UK cinemas in November, is Listen to Me Marlon, directed by Stevan Riley. We designed the title sequence in addition to over fifty in film sequences.
Having worked with director Stevan previously (Fire in Babylon, Bond; Everything or Nothing), we had some early meetings to discuss style and his unique narrative approach. Without the use of talking heads, Stevan’s use of archive was incredibly important. We also needed to consider Stevan’s reconstructed footage, which initially sat too clean in the edit and required grading to sit more comfortably in the wealth of archive.
The majority of newspaper and magazine articles were shot during the recon. However, as some of them changed during the edit, we then looked to recreate these based on the look of the recon. With access to the rushes, we were able to do this by taking lighting passes to recreate lighting states, and composite using real textures.
During the edit there were also changes to the photographs that were used in the slide projector, which was shot during the recon. Again, we re-created this look so that Stevan could alter the images with greater flexibility.
It’s always a pleasure working with contact sheets, having such intimate access with a range of images surrounding a moment. We designed a small number of sequences for the film, which also employed a lighting state shift to allow the viewer to follow the moments with ease.
And finally we created the title and presentation credits for the film, which were influenced stylistically by the ‘digital head’ which Brando had commissioned prior to his death. We enhanced this look with digital disturbance, our primary focus being to embed the credits and title within the head sequence.
For more details on the film itself, please see below, or better yet – watch it in cinemas this month!
Marlon Brando was one of the most acclaimed and influential actors of all time. He also was one of the most elusive and enigmatic. Featuring exclusive access to Brando’s previously unseen and unheard personal archive, including hundreds of hours of audio, Listen to Me Marlon sheds light on the artist and the man. Charting Brando’s exceptional career and extraordinary personal life with the actor himself as guide, the film explores his complexities, telling the story entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees: just Brando on Brando.
Director Stevan Riley creates a unique cinematic experience that dives into the inner space of Brando’s mind through the illuminating use of archival material. The result shows not how different he was from the rest of us but rather how similar. Emotionally potent, the film stands as a triumph of Riley’s knack for story craft and vision in creating a powerfully absorbing portrait.
Director: Stevan Riley
Producers: John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, George Chignell
Screenplay: Stevan Riley, Peter Ettedgui