We’re truly honored to have been selected as the Netflix creative agency partner to conceive and produce the motion billboard for the Netflix Original Series, The Crown. The American-British drama is a biographical story about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The Crown is being billed as the most expensive television series ever produced, with a budget of $130 million.
Written by British playwright Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon and The Audience) and directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours and Billy Elliot), each season of The Crown is designed to explore the political rivalries and personal intrigues across a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, examining the delicate balance between her private world and public life. The production value of the series is absolutely remarkable, as is the decorated cast. Claire Foy plays Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith is her husband Prince Phillip. John Lithgow plays Sir Winston Churchill, Victoria Hamilton is the Queen Mother, Jared Harris plays King George VI, Vanessa Kirby is Princess Margaret and Dame Eileen Atkins plays Queen Mary.
We presented three initial concepts. The first focuses on the aspect of duality, striking the dynamic between who Elizabeth was before she reigned as Queen, and who she became the day of her coronation. It also juxtaposes the duality of all those close to her, both past and present. Our second treatment graces lush, royal, billowing fabrics with imagery, casting a hauntingly beautiful light on the narrative. And third, we illuminate scenes through the formation of the British flag, artfully crafted of elegant crystal. Intimate points of view multiply, reflecting the Queen’s story and representing the multiple dimensions of her rise to power.
As we refined design and worked toward the final look, we worked concurrently on crafting a powerful :20-:30 edit utilizing scenes pulled from The Crown’s ten, full, one-hour episodes, talent B-roll and a select few textural elements from the series main title. Thanks to very tight collaboration with the Netflix team, we landed on a riveting arc, supported by the amazing score from the series and custom sound design. Select scenes were graced with atmospheric textures and qualities and others were completely generated via rotoscope, 3D modeling, VFX, lighting and compositing. We color graded each frame of every scene with painstaking care, ultimately delivering a striking piece to introduce the Netflix global audience to the rich and arresting world of The Crown.