Continuing its successful relationship with VERSUS, design studio Mr. Wonderful was recently called upon to create a heart-pounding show open and animation package for the most prestigious regatta, the America’s Cup.
The open tells the international story of a magnificent challenge – the race against time and nature to the final showdown in Valencia. Mr. Wonderful Creative Director Beirne Lowry conducted extensive research into sailing with his team to create a compelling open that incorporated archival footage and demarcated the global nature of the race.
“We wanted to show all the facets of competition in the event — boat vs. boat, man vs. man, country vs. country, and all of them vs. the cruel sea,” explains Lowry. “We embodied the state-of-the-art build of the boats and the hard reality of the wind and sea in our design. The outcome of this competition is often determined by fate and natural forces acting against technology and man’s will – and we needed to pull all of these elements together in a cohesive way.”
Mr. Wonderful created animated geometric ribbons to emulate the high-tech laminations of the boat sails and also to serve as a metaphor for the air currents that were harnessed by the sails. The ribbons were woven in between the sails and the crew making the action in black-and-white very stark and dramatic.
“Working closely with VERSUS’ Creative Director Michael Magnotta, we came up with a global manifestation of the arduous journey to Valencia,” concludes Damien Henderson, Mr. Wonderful Executive Producer. “We had to make an activity like sailing exciting and approachable when it is typically perceived as a stuffy sport.”
Technology used by Mr. Wonderful included After Effects and Flame. Delivery was in both NTSC and PAL formats. The series began airing May 14 on Versus and continues through early July.
Project: The 32nd America’s Cup on VERSUS
VP Creative Services/Creative Director: Michael Magnotta
Design Company: Mr. Wonderful
Creative Director: Beirne Lowry
Executive Producer: Damien Henderson
Assistant Producer: Laurie Duke
Designers: Mara Smalley & Frank Farella
Animators: Rick Malwitz, Mark Thompson, Min Cho, Frank Farella, Rachel Riggs
Compositing/Rotoscoping: Trevor Bajus, Matt St. Leger @ RotoFactory