Opening credits for The Sweeney puts Social in the limelight

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Filmed in a basement, The Sweeney’s opening footage portrays a dark, mysterious and sinister mood, reflective of the police drama narrative.

Following the recent star-studded UK premiere of Nick Love’s police drama remake The Sweeney, film and motion design agency Social today reveals itself as the creative brain behind the stunning opening credits of the new, classic detective thriller.  This latest assignment sees Social boost its presence and credibility further within the film production arena.  Filmed in Social’s own basement for added effect, the team treated the titles as a series of ‘reveals’ to mirror the array of twists and turns, misleading evidence and violent, gritty storyline; using a black light they shot the footage in pitch darkness.  The movie which stars Ray Winstone and Ben Drew takes a dark, mysterious and sinister path which underpins the intensity and mood of the filming. 

Director Nick Love was open-minded with the direction that Social took, the only caveat being to ensure the team followed the same path. Creative Director, Steven Lucker explains: “The piece combines live action with animated graphics to suggest at the narrative about to unfold. To set the scene, we used props from the movie itself such as masks, evidence bags, money and photographs of the characters. We also created table-top sets to hint at the content of the story and to echo the tone. Until the black light passes over a key piece of evidence, it is completely wrapped in darkness, only illuminating briefly as the light passes and fades.”

Love talked about the importance of the opening sequence: “The Sweeney opening credits sequence that Social directed and produced helps to set the tone for the film and capture the audience’s imagination from the outset. It gives the audience a glimpse into what’s to come and it also helps to focus them too”.

The live action was shot on a Canon 5D and acted as the backbone for the titles.  Animation was used for the typography itself and imaginary websites, news stations and internal letters within Scotland Yard were created for dramatic effect.  These were all used to help amplify the plot for the uninitiated viewer who may be unaware that The Sweeney were famous for being heavy-handed, but effective.

The team at Social were privileged to have watched the film as an early cut in March 2012 when the movie was at an embryonic stage although the fundamentals of the narrative were indeed in place, so this gave the team a good understanding of the plot and a great basis upon which to work from.