For the new season of Auction Kings, the popular reality TV series on Discovery Channel, creative agency Oishii Creative developed a dramatic show open and graphics package that captures the intrepid crew of Gallery 63 and the thrill of the buy and sale.
Auction Kings showcases one of the country’s most storied auction houses, Atlanta-based Gallery 63, which delves into the world of unique items – from cadaver caskets to meteorites to dinosaur fossils – and the emotional process of acquisition and loss.
The opening sequence focuses on the personalities of the show. Each character is introduced through heroic poses, as various symbolic objects fall around them in slow motion. Owner Paul Brown tosses weapons in the air while manager Cindy Shook is surrounded with flying papers and office supplies. Picker Jon Hammond unearths his next big discovery. Handyman Delfino Ramos unleashes his fix-it skills on a vintage arcade game, and auctioneers Guerry Wise and Jason Brooks holler animatedly as item tags and a microphone soar past them. The sequence ends with the new show logo of brushed metal.
“The task in front of Oishii wasn’t small. They needed to craft a new look and feel to an established show,” said Jeffrey Weaver, executive producer at Authentic Entertainment. “Like on many TV series, there are a lot of cooks in our kitchen, so a collaboration of this nature has many opportunities to go awry. Almost magically, Oishii navigated a creative, productive path to success and came through for us on time and on budget. Together with composer Joey Newman, the Oishii team helped give the show a major facelift.”
Oishii Creative employed a number of filmmaking and graphical techniques to create a show open that was gritty and real, elevating the look and feel of the series. Shooting on the Weisscam high-speed camera allowed Oishii to enhance the larger-than-life stature of the characters through speed adjustments and low-angle shots. Depth of field was also used to highlight and center the cast. A cooler, more contemporary look was established through high-contrast textures, colors and shadows. For the CG elements, Oishii created a digital, stylized, crate-filled warehouse, as well as the floating objects, which provided organic transitions by guiding the viewer’s eye from one direction to another across the screen.
“Our idea revolves around the personalities of the show,” explained Ismael Obregon, president/creative director of Oishii Creative. “Many reality TV show opens are editorial cut-downs of show footage with a graphic title overlay. We wanted to approach and brand this genre differently – in a cinematic way with high production values while staying true to the characters. It was important to represent them through the right framing devices and to use the objects as personal visual anecdotes. They are subtle nods to the established fans of the show without alienating new viewers tuning in for the first time in the third season.”
Prior to shooting, Obregon and his team collaborated closely with Discovery Channel to determine which specific traits and actions to emphasize for the characters. Each member of the Auction Kings team was shot against green screen during the one-day shoot at Gallery 63.
The comprehensive package for Auction Kings included the main titles, logo and in-show graphics.