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FlickerLab Designs Things I Hate About You Opens

FlickerLab studio designed the animated show package for Bravos new reality TV series, THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, which premiered July 20, 2004 at 9:00 pm, with a handmade, painterly style of animation that is FlickerLabs digital signature.

Creative director Harold Moss points out, Although theres a traditional style to the characters, the method is contemporary. The animation never saw paper.

FlickerLabs graphics for THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU reflect a Lower East Side kind of cool, in homage to 60s and 70s era TV icons embraced by retro design. Evoking a digital collage come to life, photographic heads dance on animated bodies. Paper-doll silhouettes run through colorful backgrounds that look like cutout drawings.

We drew on the look of the fully animated openings from 60s and 70s TV shows, and pulled in the FlickerLab, storytelling aesthetic, says Moss. I DREAM OF JEANNIE, BEWITCHED, and all those sitcoms had the same good natured exploration of conflict between couples, the battle of the sexes and things that come up in Things.

Each episodes open will be customized with headshots of the weeks featured couple floating above an animated bathtub, as well as in an audience scale onscreen.

Moss said, This is an example of 2D animation in a traditional style, yet not executed in a traditional manner. The backgrounds and artwork were created in Photoshop, the character animations were created inside Flash. We shot the heads with a high-res digital camera, and stylized them like doll heads with a lot of coloring, treating and painting. It was a matter of finessing and rebuilding the heads so they moved like puppets. All the components were brought into After Effects and animated there.

THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU co-exec prod. Aliyah Silverstein comments, "This is a complicated show and not one that is easily communicated. FlickerLab, has created a package that brilliantly represents the show in tone, humor and attitude. In fact, FlickerLab, has so effectively hit the nail on the head that we have used their graphics for casting and promotion of the program."

Using photographic heads became central to achieving the look. To create the open, eight heads were needed, apart from the weeks featured couple. FlickerLab shot members of the production company and friends to insert as the puppet heads. Moss is the snoring guy and his actual girlfriend is the head who cant choose what to wear at the beginning. Not that I was typecasting, he says, smiling.

THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, based on the BBC2 series FIVE THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, is a reality show that takes a funny, intelligent look at the psychology of modern relationships. Each episode features one couple given the chance to prove which partner is the more irritating co-habitant with. Armed with personal video cameras, couples become documentarians as they seek to capture their partners foibles on film. The series is produced by Wall to Wall Inc. (FrontierHouse, Manor House).

New York City-based FlickerLab, (www.flickerlab.com) formed in 1999 by Moss, is a multimedia design and animation company, whose work includes broadcast design, animation for commercials, film and television, as well as content creation. Moss was animation director for the three-minute sequence, A Brief History of the U.S.A., in Michael Moores Academy Award-winning documentary, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (2003). Moss is a graphic designer for Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11. Among other projects, Moss has had animated pilots on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim, designs motion graphics for major networks in television and cable, as well as for commercials for Continental Airlines, Tylenol, Macys and more.

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