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Monkeyhead Helps Untie The Knot For Bravo


Culver City-based motion design studio Monkeyhead recently crafted a show open for the new Bravo reality series Untying The Knot, which focuses on divorce attorney Vikki Ziegler.

Each 30-minute episode features a different divorcing couple struggling to divide their assets that range from dazzling diamonds to the family pets. Ziegler’s expert appraisers Michael and Mark Millea evaluate the items in question and help determine a fair division.

“We felt strongly about finding a way to creatively tie the concept of the show into the open so that it wasn’t typical or generic,” said Monkeyhead creative director Josh Sahley. “The tricky thing with this project is this show is about divorce and couples dividing up belongings, which can be a depressing subject. We needed to find a way to make it entertaining and easily digestible for everyone.”

Monkeyhead accomplished that with a concept that blends live action and 3D animation, including a photo-real divorced doll couple.

The show open begins with a live-action shot of Ziegler, as the camera pulls back we see her perched atop a doll house as large hands reach in and grab various objects from the house – a piano, furniture, art – and places them into his-and-hers piles on a simple astro-turf lawn. The open ends with a voiceover from Ziegler noting how “when love turns to hate, couples turn to me.”

“The doll house concept was key for this open. It makes it feel less serious, while the hands dividing the items up represent Vikki’s crew on the show who help her figure out the value of the assets,” Sahley explained.

For Sahley, the project represents an overall trend in TV where it is critical to grab viewers’ attention quick and not give them a reason to reach for the remote. That’s especially true of show opens, which usually have to explain the show’s premise in an engaging way in 15 second or less.

“Show opens are more important than ever,” Sahley said. “Viewers have a shorter attention span, so shows today have just a few minutes at most to hook viewers. A well thought out open can make a difference and help sell the show in a short amount of time.”

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