Blue Spill puts on their detective hats and jumps back to 2000, amidst the turbulent and complex investigation of the British tourist Lucie Blackman. In Netflix’s newest feature documentary; Missing: The Lucie Blackman case, we follow the perspectives of unprecedented interviews with the Japanese detectives who led the case, to bring justice against Lucie’s perpetrator. 

The starting point of our creative direction for the show was the idea of Japan appearing as a safe and inviting place, but with a darker underbelly which exists beneath the surface, with a particular focus on Tokyo’s nightlife. We used VHS distortion, reflecting the video tapes found at the crime scene, as a transitional device in the opening titles to cut between footage of Tokyo nightlife and darker imagery relating to the case. Glitches and distortions were also used as a translation device, to transition between glowing neon red Japanese text and the English translation in the opening titles and in the courtroom graphics.

We also looked to police documents as inspiration for the typography and graphic identity for our date cards, documents and explainers and used degraded photocopy textures which, along with our choice of darker colour palette and chiaroscuro lighting patterns, gave our graphics a dark and sinister tone in keeping with the subject matter. We used this concept of printed media becoming increasingly distressed in our treatments of the date cards, where the image of Lucie became more faded and weathered to communicate a sense of the passage of time.

We delivered the opening title and 25 GFX for the show in 4K using an HDR ACES workflow in Adobe After Effects & Autodesk Flame. 

Blue Spill Credits:

GFX Supervisor
Ant Brownmoore

Design Director
Joe Nowacki

Creative Producer
Elliot Mander

Linda Scerpella
Joseph Frascina
Grace Spalding

Post Production Co-ordinator
Daniel Fisher