Holzer Files

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Building off the success of paranormal programming on Discovery+, create a fresh, edgy, and modern launch with a custom graphics package for TRVL’s hit show, The Holzer Files. Keeping in mind that the show is now in its second season and has a loyal following, prioritize the talent over the more historical aspects of the show.

We Answer

Nothing quite gets the heart pumping and blood flowing like a good scare! And since we like that kind of thing, we’re in. We were very excited to work on this paranormal launch and knew that although they didn’t want the entire cut to focus on Hans Holzer, his case files are the basis for the show. Building off this direction, the copy focuses on Hans Holzer himself, to give context for the series, while edit plays out drawing inspiration from fast-paced and modern paranormal movie trailers.

“I used a glitchy style of editing and incorporated sound design to make moments of the promo jump out at you to make it feel like a trailer for a horror movie” says senior editor, Rory Sheridan. To emphasize the edgy vibe, we were sure to log every good jump scare we could find and any time the medium on the show, Cindy, gave a particularly creepy reading of the haunted grounds.

For GFX, it was hard not to immediately just make something because it was “scary looking.” Keeping strategy in mind we wanted the look to match the feeling of the spot - nervous, on-edge - while also tying back into the idea of what made this show unique from other paranormal shows. Immediately we thought about the original Holzer recordings and the new audio technology the team uses called EVP. Giving a nod to this form of contact with the paranormal, we created a soundwave design with a simple yet glowing color palette.

Two tone image with the words 'Hans Hlzer's Legendary Investigation'
Two tone image with the words 'The Holzer Files'
Two tone image with the words 'Once put to rest'
blurry image with a face in the background and the words 'are resurrected'
Image a shadowy man and the face of a child with the words 'The Holzer Files'

We also really loved the idea of the investigations from the past being brought back to life. We thought about the case files themselves integrating ghostly imagery from the show through overlapping case file elements, b-roll and archival imagery in a unique visual cross-section to balance old with new. Wispy text further complements the look and tone of the edit. This execution, which was ultimately selected by the client, also allowed the opportunity to feature series talent front and center along with the call to action.

Fun Fact

Hans Holzer’s most famous paranormal investigation was at the Long Island house that inspired the movie, “The Amityville Horror.”