Beakus creates animated trailers for Penny Dreadful

Animation studio Beakus has created a trio of films directed by Gergely Wootsch to promote Sky One’s new TV series, Penny Dreadful.

Animation studio Beakus has created a trio of films directed by Gergely Wootsch to promote Sky One’s new TV series, Penny Dreadful.

Penny Dreadful is a supernatural horror drama written by John Logan and directed by Sam Mendes. Set in Victorian London, it features characters from three famous Gothic novels: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

To promote the show, Beakus was asked to animate a series of shorts introducing each text, narrated by writer and broadcaster Matthew Sweet.

The first in the series was released this week and tells the story of Frankenstein. It explains the inspiration for the book, common misconceptions of Frankenstein’s monster and key themes raised in the text. The following two videos, on Dorian Gray and Dracula, will be released early next week.

The films feature a similar style to Wootsch’s promo for Savages’ track, Marshal Dear, and his short film The Hungry Corpse, set in Trafalgar Square (see below). “Sky saw a link between those and this project, so it was quite a natural fit for me to design the imagery. However, I did quite a lot of research around the period, the writers and the books,” he says.

 

 

Each film uses a mix of 3D 2D artwork, which was created digitally and by hand. “Many of the shots are composed in 3D, but as planes on to which the hand-drawn elements are mapped. At other times I use a more involved 3D process, but I always like to hide the technicality of the modelling with hand-drawn textures and artwork,” he explains.

 

 

As well as conveying the dark, Gothic nature of the show, Wootsch says he was keen to reflect its high production value. “It was important that the animation was well made and used 3D where possible, to bring a higher level of sophistication to the hand-drawn artwork,” he explains.

“The show makes use of a lot of shadow and stylisation, so I did too. But these films are more about the origins of the books, rather than the characters in them, so I did have a liberty to veer away from the show and into a world I could make up from scratch,” he says. “I’ve found the third film, Dorian Gray, the hardest to visualise, simply because it’s easier to plug in to imagery about Dracula and Frankenstein,” he adds.

 

 

Wootsch may be best known for his eerie black and white style, but says it was not a conscious decision to pursue this aesthetic. “It’s just come along through a seies of projects. Believe it or not, I’ve designed for colourful, kid-friendly projects as well,” he says. “The uniting factor [in all of the work] is this mix of 2D and 3D – I think people who see it often don’t know how each shot was made.”

 

Penny Dreadful also features props and signage designed by Annie Atkins, the lead graphic designer on Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. You can read more about Atkins’ work for the show in our May issue – or read our blog post on her designs for the film here.

 

More from CR

Frank Budgen directs Taylors of Harrogate ad

BMB has created a curious new ad for coffee brand Taylors of Harrogate, which is directed by Frank Budgen. The spot eschews any of the usual themes that we might associate with coffee ads – steaming mugs, hands shaking beans – and instead takes us on an abstract journey into the unknown…

Pete Fowler on American Interior by Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys’s new project, American Interior, comprises a feature-length film, album, book, and app, all telling the story of Rhys’s eccentric, adventuring ancestor, John Evans. Pete Fowler has provided visuals for all elements of the project: we talk to him about the work.

Double P for PayPal

PayPal has unveiled a redesigned brand identity from Fuse Project which the company describes as “less a dramatic shift from what was, and more a modernising of what’s always been”

Manual Labour

Manuals 1 is the first comprehensively illustrated book on design manuals, featuring examples from the 1960s to the early 1980s; a period often regarded as the golden age of identity design. Published by Unit Editions, it is introduced by Adrian Shaughnessy and an edited version of his essay, exploring why these weighty objects still hold […]

Junior Designer

Consultants in Design
Curious logo
NSPCC logo