Superunion has been working with LSO since 2017, when it launched a new brand identity for the orchestra inspired by the movement of conductor Sir Simon Rattle’s baton. Previous campaigns have featured CG artwork based on Rattle’s hand gestures, but for LSO’s 2020/21 season, Superunion opted for a different approach, teaming up with Found Studio and dancer Ella Robson Guilfoyle to create a dramatic live-action dance film.
The campaign takes inspiration from the theme of LSO’s upcoming programme, ‘Dancing on the edge of a volcano’, which will see the orchestra perform work created in Europe in the first half of the 20th century. According to Rattle, the phrase was used by Austrian composer Alban Berg to describe the atmosphere in 1930s Germany and captures the mood of an era that produced “some of the darkest music possible”.
A film and accompanying print ads show Robson Guilfoyle performing a dance based on Rattle’s conducting to Igor Stravinsky’s work, Rites of Spring, which was created by layering together footage from two separate shoots.
For the first shoot, Superunion filmed Robson Guilfoyle performing a series of short dance sequences based on Rattle’s movements (which were recorded using motion capture) while wearing colourful clothing. Footage was captured from above at 50 frames per second using 5K cameras. Guilfoyle then performed a series of movements with flares, sparkles, smoke grenades and chalk dust, which was filmed at 100 frames per second.
Footage from the shoots was combined in post-production and the resulting film was retimed to fit Rattle’s movements. “This retimed sequence was then processed with a bespoke echo effect to create a motion trail that fades both in terms of opacity and saturation, creating a fiery flame-like effect,” explains Superunion.
With its use of live action, Superunion has put a fresh spin on LSO’s identity, while also creating something that feels in keeping with its previous work for the orchestra. The resulting visuals are just as striking in print as they are in motion, and capture the darkness and drama at the heart of LSO’s new season.
Superunion ECD: Stuart Radford
Senior Designers: Sam Ratcliffe, Erik Brattested
Senior Motion Designer: Rich Pizey
Found Studio Creative Director: Mike Sharpe
Producer: Sophia Georgiou