Sundance Now

You Ask

How would you approach the trailer for Sundance Now’s stylish thriller, “Riviera” featuring Julia Stiles and Will Arnett that will have viewers intrigued and wanting more.

We Answer

Within the first five minutes of screening an episode, it was clear that this series oozed luxury and was completely binge worthy. Set in the South of France, there was wealth, fashion, glamour, and the key ingredients that keep viewers craving more - beautifully complex and flawed characters intertwined in secrets, lies, and murder.

But how do you craft a compelling trailer for a series with limited footage and disjointed storylines? Find all the juicy bits, a piece of music to be the key driver for the story arc, and a dash of text on screen to help push the story along and tie everything together.

Our Associate Creative Director, Erica Kern struck gold by finding an alluring track that not only aligns perfectly with the vibe of the show, “I Wish I Never” has lyrics that speak to the heart of Georgina’s (Stiles) inner struggle: the person she is becoming as she gets swept up into the underbelly of paradise, and the person she once was before arriving in Cote d’Azur.

The character of Georgina Clios is fascinatingly complex and the focus of our trailer. It was interesting to see our protagonist evolve as her life around her unraveled. It’s intriguing to see a strong character be swept away by her obsession with money, power, and secrets. Pretty much the everyday indulgences of the French Riviera set.

Guilty pleasures are best served hot, and our Sr. Editor Nate Hoeft got things cooking. For Nate, the challenge of this piece was building the sound bed by incorporating specific lyrics from a song with dialogue from the show to tell the full story. Using his signature surgeon-like precision editing, he re-engineered sections of the music using the instrumental version, vocal version, and the sound effects to stitch together a sound bed that was effortlessly seamless. All the while layering sound effects from our library to punctuate both the music and the action on screen.

For the graphics, we enlisted Sr. Editor and all around Accidental Generalist Rory Sheridan who is down to flex any of his many creative muscles for the cause. He decided to keep things simple and not overpower Nate’s buttery smooth edit and did some blending modes and minor movement to the text to give it texture and life.

From the first to the last, every frame is flawlessly stitched together giving us a glimpse into Georgina’s intoxicating world making it almost impossible to turn away.

Fun Fact

The man behind “Riviera” is former U2 Manager, Paul McGuinness. It was his big idea and his love for the south of France that first seeded this hyper-glamourous crime thriller. He wanted a show that included “the basic ingredients” of life on the Cote d’Azur which are “glamour, wealth, family, and crime”. Looks like he succeeded.