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.

Director: Stevan Riley

Producers: John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, George Chignell

Screenplay: Stevan Riley, Peter Ettedgui

Titles and Motion Design: Blue Spill
Design Director: Allison Brownmoore
VFX Director: Anthony Brownmoore
Lead Artist: Joe Nowacki
Assistant: Sylvain Doussa