Traces is the first original scripted drama for Alibi; but it also marks the first time UKTV Creative has produced a title sequence for one of its original productions.
I've been obsessed with title sequences ever since I first watched the opening to David Fincher's Seven nearly 25 years ago - and have followed the likes of Kyle Cooper, Saul Bass, Imaginary Forces and Momoco ever since.
In fact, one of my first motion pieces at university was to recreate a title sequence for a James Bond movie. It was this particular project that led me on the path I am now, helping me to land my first paid job making title sequences for the BBC while I was still studying for my Master's degree.
It's such a wonderfully creative medium that's had something of a resurgence recently, with the biggest and best broadcasters and On Demand services seeing the value in these short works-of-art, and embracing them once again for their flagship series. I mean imagine Mad Men, Dexter, Game of Thrones or even The Simpson's without their iconic title sequences.
This was a golden opportunity to work on Alibi's first original scripted drama; and our first creative foray into the world of title sequences.
The opening sequence for Traces is told from a fresh point of view where forensic science takes centre stage. The dark hues set the tone for a gritty Dundee-based crime thriller, and the beautifully sharp - but sinister - macro photography promises a quality drama full of complex characters and unexpected plot twists.
The edit uses a juxtaposition of wide location shots (of Dundee and forensic laboratories) with extreme close-ups (of evidence and human traces), helping to give the audience clues of what they can expect from the show without giving away too much of the story.
In order to solve any crime, you must analyse the detail and look closer; traces that are left behind and, pieced together, to tell a bigger story. To follow this analytical approach, subtle elements from the show are referenced throughout the title sequence, inviting the viewer to piece together the details and enter a sinister world of murder, suspense and forensic science.
The soundtrack features a haunting rendition of a classic Nina Simone track, with lyrics that seem to come from the murdered victim and her daughter, desperately searching for the truth and pleading for the investigation not to be misunderstood.
The design and production process ran incredibly smoothly and was a fantastic collaborative effort with the production company, who championed our ideas and suggestions from day one.
We fell in love with the Nina Simone track "Don't let me be misunderstood" so we had the track re-recorded with a fantastic vocalist in New York called Valerie Broussard. She sung a wonderfully haunting rendition and it fits perfectly with the sequence. It has now been released as a single through Valerie's record label and is available to stream HERE.
Traces has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, working with some great talent at UKTV, BBC Studios and RED Productions.
We all feel incredibly proud of the outcome and look forward to working on more Title Sequences in the near future.
Peter Allinson, Head of Design, UKTV
Director: Peter Allinson
Creative Agency: UKTV Creative
Designer: Veer Assi
Executive Producer, UKTV: Philippa Collie Cousins
Production Company: RED Productions
Title Track: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Track performed by: Valerie Broussard