A monumental surprise
“Full Frontal with
fans when the show’s
new main title sequence
begins to roll.
(Chicago / New York 13 — September 2018) Chicago creative entrepreneur Erin Sarofsky and the team at her eponymous production company designed and directed the new 20-second introduction for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
The highly stylized sequence presents Samantha in a way that the world increasingly sees her: as a curious giant in the cultural landscape.
The concept was developed by the Full Frontal producers and writers after weeks of brainstorming on how to fine tune the show’s place in the late night TV-scape.
“We were asked to create a main title creatively reflecting Samantha’s tone, persona and content,” says Sarofsky, adding that she “loved the idea right off the bat.”
FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE
MAIN TITLE SEQUENCE BY SAROFSKY CHICAGO
“As a smaller-framed woman who has a larger-than-life presence, Samantha’s words carry a lot of weight,” Sarofsky continues. “Still, (Samantha) is the first person to joke about herself. Self-deprecating and highly self-aware, she is a master at turning it back around and using herself as the punch line.”
Show principals including executive producers Miles Kahn, Alison Camillo, and Pat King also emphasized the need to convey Samantha’s strong sense of purpose, motivations, inquisitive nature, and her drive to shake things up.
Even though Sarofsky has built a career on creating solutions for a Who’s Who of all-star entertainers and brands, the invitation to pitch was like a dream come true.
“As a woman, I know how hard it is to strike the right tone with people,” she explains. “In whatever we came up with, I wanted to communicate what a bad-ass I think she is… slicing through the messy political landscape each week and doing it all with a wink.”
Beating out scores of other smashing ideas, Sarofsky’s chosen approach combines a “punk rock poster” aesthetic with the gigantic Samantha idea.
“There was something endearing and honest about the look of that approach, melded with the concept of her being a giant,” she adds. “The specific scenarios set a colossal Samantha in familiar terrain, standing up for issues like human rights, legislature, leadership, representation and activism.”
For Cutters’ editor Dustin Kaufman, the pundit hydra deftly highlights Sarofsky’s creative brilliance. “That moment perfectly embodies the loudmouth talking-head media landscape we are submerged in,” he says “Samantha’s actions represent exactly how I feel every time I watch the news.”
The footage of Samantha was captured during a single August day on stage in Vancouver. For that shoot, Sarofsky enlisted DP Mike Bove, a key team member from her main title projects for Netflix’s Friends from College and TNT’s Animal Kingdom.
“We had a lot to capture that day, and we also did a ton of improv work,” she recalls. “Since much of the comedy in the finished piece comes from Samantha’s interactions with the background elements, our very best footage came from working through the scenarios on the set.”
To maximize their time, Bove designed the lighting and the green screen stage set to allow them to capture Samantha’s movements from head-to-toe. Shooting in 4K resolution with the ARRI ALEXA Mini camera package and Leicra Summicron-C prime lenses, he explains, “The Mini has the bit-depth and latitude to provide an extremely clean key for Sarofsky’s VFX artists.”
Back in the studio, Sarofsky’s team instilled a stop-motion feel, showcasing Samantha’s performances and facial expressions. Enthusiasm peaked as their individual touches rendered the patent, design-rooted look they desired.
Along with the :20 version, Sarofsky delivered :10 and :3 versions. There are also several alternate endings and captions, which will be rolled out on TV, online and in out-of-home marketing (including billboards) as the season progresses.
Additional information on the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” main title project can now be viewed on Sarofsky’s website here.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS.
Director, creative director and designer Erin Sarofsky launched Sarofsky in Chicago in 2009 to provide her patent, design-driven production services to leaders in the advertising and entertainment industries worldwide. Today, Sarofsky’s staff artists use animation, visual effects, computer graphics and live-action to collaborate with illustrious clientele from concept to delivery, producing work that is visceral, innovative and diverse. With artistry that heightens audience impact through sublime commercials, brand films, title sequences and much more, Sarofsky’s reputation for breakthrough design, its proven cross-media production expertise, and its fabulous Olson Kundig-designed studio in Chicago’s West Loop are all key components of the attraction.
Send your creative updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org.