Los Angeles-based design studio yU+co visualizes the inner workings of a man/robot hybrid in the latest installment of the popular science fiction action franchise RoboCop. The futuristic remake, directed by José Padilha, takes place in 2028 Detroit, when cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is critically injured in the line of duty and the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. yU+co designed 118 shots for the effects-heavy film, crafting graphic overlays including the visuals for Murphy’s digitized first person point of view. The film released in theaters nationwide on February 12th.
In order to effectively communicate plot points through the graphic overlays, Creative Director Garson Yu devised a unique operating system for a streamlined look across all designs. Rather than crafting the designs shot-by-shot, an overall visual theme was established to allow easy comprehension of the developing story through the graphics. To transport the computerization of Murphy’s mind to a visual realm, his digital capabilities are seen through a first person point of view, including his access to live and archived CCTV footage, visual analysis of individuals including threat status and emotional state, as well as real-time data analysis of new environments.
Yu and the creative team worked closely with Padilha to ensure that all of the graphics employed consistent storytelling tools and allowed significant story beats to be communicated without standard exposition. Notes Yu, “It was an exciting challenge to create designs that were of a more narrative nature. In this installment, the ‘Robocop’ is dealing with a lot more human emotions. It was exciting to communicate that visually.”
yU+co has crafted exquisite graphic sequences for numerous blockbuster films prior to Robocop, including OZ The Great and Powerful, Life of Pi, Watchmen and 300, to name a few.