Yes Captain: How I made the Real Housewives of Melbourne sparkle

Melbourne-based motion design studio Yes Captain were asked by Matchbox Pictures to produce the complete broadcast graphics package for The Real Housewives of Melbourne, marking the franchise’s first outing to Australian shores.

The concept represents a warm summer night in Melbourne drawing to a close, with Flinders Street Station serving as the heart of the piece. From concept design, live-action greenscreen shoot, animation, edit and colour grade, the studio delivered a titles package to suit the ‘larger than life’ housewives. We spoke to creative director James Cowen about the conceptualisation and production of the broadcast graphics.

How do you usually approach a new project? What parameters are taken into consideration first?

The first step is always to seek out a clear brief and ask plenty of questions, then we respond directly to that brief when presenting our concepts to ensure we’re on the money. With this project, the client were elated when they saw our concepts, so we like to think we nail briefs!

How much direction or restriction is given from the client to follow the “Real Housewives” brand?

From a design perspective, we were given plenty of creative freedom. There are only a handful of simple design elements common across the franchise that needed to be carried through, which included glossy vertical wipes, ‘dazzling’ name titles and an icon to represent the city – in our case, a Tram.  One of the strengths of the franchise is it allows for a sense of singularity in representing each city and it’s glamorous inhabitants. The challenges came in representing Melbourne’s broad skyline in a limited broadcast canvas.

What software was used to produce the project?

We employed Maxon Cinema 4D for the 3D elements and animation, and our Adobe Creative Cloud membership (which includes Adobe Premiere for Editing and Colour Grading) and Adobe After Effects for Compositing and 2D animation.  We’ve used many different packages over the years and none is more flexible and enjoyable to use than Cinema 4D.

The Real Housewives of Melbourne – opening titles from Yes Captain on Vimeo.

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