As Good As It Gets?

  • Jamie Salmon

The second sports documentary to come from The City Talking was As Good As It Gets?, another star-studded tale about the Leeds Rhinos' unstoppable rise to the top that's now available on Amazon Prime. My role in the project was twofold, working on the promotional materials for the project such as branding, film posters and a behind-the-scenes magazine, while also working on the film's VFX, title and credits sequences, including a complex piece of compositing and treatment of archival footage. Part of the intro is embedded below, other elements of my VFX work on the project can be seen in the full film on Amazon Prime here –

There was a lot of challenging VFX work on the film, one of which was the end of the opening sequence (first part of the video embedded above) where a boy walks across a room and sits down at a table, while the camera follows him before swinging back to focus on a TV at the back of the room.
The old TV seen in the footage was added in post. Inserting that into the TV cabinet was a challenging job because the decision to do this was made after filming, so no preparations had had made for post, such as adding clear markers for motion tracking and dressing the boy in colours that would seperate him from the background.
These constraints meant After Effects' Roto tools were severely hindered, resulting in a lengthy frame-by-frame masking solution, while the camera tracking was done by combining work done in Mocha with some manual tweaks along the way.
The promotional materials for the film were inspired by old war movies (Band of Brothers in particular) with a dramatic rain-sodden sunset on a rugby pitch constructed out of multiple mid-game photos. A couple of examples of early test images can be seen in the behind-the-scenes magazine spread further below.
As well as using the lead image, a series of posters were created to represent every person featured in the film. I editted plain studio photos of each person so that that they also looked like they were standing in the dramatic light of a stormy sunset (also shown in one of the behind-the-scenes magazine spreads further below).
The City Talking produced a behind-the-scenes magazine to accompany the film's release, which I designed and produced. I stylised the magazine using glitch processes such as pixel sorting, alongside clean, offset layouts.