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Rushes Provides VFX & Titles for ‘Dirk Gently’

London post facility Rushes provided VFX and the main title sequence for the BBC4’s “Dirk Gently” comedy series, based on the books by Douglas Adams.

Press release from Rushes:

London, UK -- Created by one of Britain’s most exciting screenwriting talents, Howard Overman (Misfits), from the books by Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently is a dramatic, witty and intelligent series with plots that delight, surprise but ultimately satisfy -- and with two characters at the heart of each story that you just want to spend time with, brilliantly portrayed by Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd.

Stephen Mangan says: "Slipping back into Dirk's pointy shoes to renew my double act with Darren Boyd for three brand new episodes is, for me, about as good as it gets. I wish I WAS Dirk."

Dirk Gently’s first one-hour instalment in December 2010 proved hugely popular, attracting 1.1m viewers (3.9% share) on BBC Four, over three times the channel’s slot average. When the BBC commissioned the series, Producer Chris Carey wanted to do both the VFX and titles with the teams at Rushes who worked on the pilot. Rushes Film&TV department worked closely with the Director, Tom Shankland, to make the most effective use of the VFX budget and attended the shoots to help advise. The VFX are a mix of enhancing practical effects such as people falling out of windows or through floors, graphic satellite imagery and the CG additions of electrical connections to a girl robot. Rushes MGFX again provided the main title sequence taking the original idea of the interconnectedness of Dirk’s world, as revealed by his whiteboard, and placing the titles of the show at its centre.

The show’s producer Chris Carey says: “Dirk Gently feels like a rare and precious storytelling gift. Douglas Adam’s books are treasure troves filled with brilliant details and profound, hilarious observations that Howard and the other writers endlessly mine to lead them off into new tales for Stephen and Darren to bring memorably to life on screen.”

Following on from the original pilot designs title sequence, MGFX Studio designers Barry Corcoran and Brad Le-Riche worked on drafting design ideas that would further on from this version. “What we wanted to do was bring more 3D whilst maintaining the same overall aesthetic.” After locking a look and feel and signing off on a storyboard, artist Barry Corcoran went about whipping a virtual camera frenetically around a massive whiteboard. Aiming to create a universe out of the madness inherent with Dirks approach to detective work and life in general was compounded by this camera. “Once we were happy with this animation Dirks whiteboard universe was littered and textured with elements related to the story.”

All elements were linked by rendered 3D string to highlight Dirks prime theory in universal interconnectedness.

Learn more about the series here


Production Title: Dirk Gently

Production Company: ITV Studios

Director: Tom Shankland Producer: Chris Carey Film Editor: Matthew Tabarn

Post Production: Rushes Producer: Louise Hussey/Paul Jones Supervisor: Jonathan Privett Nuke: Simone Coco, Dan Alterman, Noel Harmes, Eleanor Rogers, Dave Bannister 3D Animation:  Andy Hargreaves, Chris Hutchison, David Loh, Alan Williamson Motion Graphics: Barry Corcoran, Brad Le Riche, Matt Lawrence

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.