Tell us about the early design brief
The brief was to make films and animations for London 2012 which expressed the energy and dynamism of the Olympic Games and adhered to strict brand guidelines.
What inspired your design concept?
Simply speaking, the London 2012 brand itself and the universal power and appeal of the Olympic Games were our inspiration.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The target audience for our films was huge, both globally and demographically. Our films had to appeal to people aged 7 – 70 living across the world, from large metropolises to small rural communities. It was a challenge to do this and avoid a final film that was in any way bland or un-engaging. We achieved our aims by focussing on the strong elements of the London 2012 brand, together with bold universal visuals that a global audience could engage and empathise with.
What about specific design challenges?
Budgets were tight so we had to be very smart about how we made our films, particularly in how we shared assets and design time between different projects. We were constantly thinking about how we could re-use, adapt or re-purpose different graphic elements or footage for multiple projects.
Budgets also meant that we couldn’t shoot as much as we’d like (combined with the fact that the Games were yet to happen!). This meant that we had to rely on existing footage, which was of very varied quality. Since the Olympic Games only happen every four years, there was a huge variance in the quality of footage from previous Games and it was really interesting to compare broadcast footage from the different years. Beijing was the first to be shot exclusively in HD, so integrating footage from Atlanta, Sydney or Athens was often a bit traumatic. The availability of footage of Paralympic sports was incredibly varied too – we only had footage shot from a single camera from some years, which made editing a bit tricky to say the least!
Interviewing the busiest man of the Games
- ?While filming Seb Coe at Greenwich Park we asked him for a second take, but before we’d even finished the question he’d taken the microphone off and started walking away. Busy man and we think he knew he’d nailed it. He was right!
How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?
We were over the moon when we found out that we’d been asked to work on London 2012. Winning a tender against upwards of 300+ companies was huge for us – at that point we were just four people operating out of an office the size of a cupboard. Working on your home Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and seeing our work shown on giant screens during the Games was incredible.
What would you highlight as the best features or lasting benefits of your design work?
We created films that were enjoyable and informative to a vast and diverse audience across the world. Our Paralympic sports films introduced many people to the sports for the first time, while our venue films championed the bold architectural designs that were being unveiled on the London 2102 sites.
What are you most proud of regarding your design work for London 2012?
We made a huge number of films in a very short space of time and made sure they were engaging, accessible, on time, on budget and on brand. We didn’t see the tight budget or timescales as an obstacle, but kept our heads down, grafted and delivered.