Samantha Bee
Directed by Erin Sarofsky
Live Action
Main Title Sequence
Concept Creation
Experimental
2D Animation
Animation
VFX/Visual Effects

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

A monumental surprise awaited viewers of the Emmy Award-winning Full Frontal with Samantha Bee when the show’s new main title sequence was released. Designed and directed by our illustrious leader, Erin Sarofsky,  the highly stylized 20-second introduction presents Samantha the way the world increasingly sees her: A curious giant in the cultural landscape.

The Story and Style

Since TV host Samantha Bee went “Full Frontal” with her satirical views of the news, the tiny Titan has tilted at dozens of giants, building a huge following for her late-night show. Fast-talking, smart-assed and funny, Bee’s stingers hit so many targets President Trump wanted her canceled. Instead, making even more of Bee’s moxie, show producers asked us to shape a new opening sequence for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee—presenting Bee the way the world sees her: A fearless, surefooted giant in America’s chaotic cultural landscape.

Our chosen approach combines a “punk rock poster” aesthetic with the gigantic Samantha idea. The chosen scenarios we crafted set a colossal Samantha in familiar terrain: standing up for human rights, important legislature, female leadership, representation and activism.

Donning her signature blazer and black stiletto pumps, Bee strides through neighborhoods and cityscapes, passing monuments and crossing bridges.

She shakes hands and “fan girls” with the Statue of Liberty, takes a bite out of the border wall, spies inside the White House and Capitol rotunda, and battles a five-headed hydra of pundits.

Hands planted firmly on hips, she backs a woman’s march with smiling approval and strides on, defacing a poster of herself in one last irreverent gesture as she walks offstage.

Play Sam Bee
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Proud ♥

Working with the creative team at Sarofsky is always a delight. They are clever, responsive, professional and just downright fun as collaborators and partners.

2021 Revamp
Play 2021 Sequence
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A Peek Behind The Scenes

Presenting our ideas to the writers and producers, “It was magical to hear their laughter,” says Erin. “We’d toss an idea out there, and then everybody would riff—it was really like being in the writer’s room. With each back-and-forth, ideas got stronger and stronger, so in the end it was all of us writing the sequence together.”

Making the sequence, Erin directed the film shoot of Samantha in Vancouver. “I have great photos of me directing her,” says Erin. “It was so fun to work together!”

Design And Animation Process

In the offline edit we defined the timing, shot selection and plate selection. With that completed, we moved all of the assets into After Effects. There, we did the animations and set the look—dropping frames to give Samantha’s performances and facial expressions a steppy stop-motion feel. 

While the backgrounds for the main titles are either stock or computer-generated 3D, the footage of Bee was shot in one day on stage in Vancouver.

“We had a lot to capture that day, and we also did a ton of improv work,” says Erin..

Director of photography Mike Bove (Friends from College, Animal Kingdom) designed the lighting and a green screen, then shot in 4K resolution to capture the clean images ideal for VFX artists.

A post production team added animated elements to create a stop-motion feel for Bee’s performances and facial expressions.

Along with the 20-second opening, Sarofsky created 10-second and three-second versions of the main title with alternate endings and captions. These were rolled out across television and online platforms and used for out-of-home-marketing, (including billboards,) throughout the season.

Reflections

“It was important to show that Samantha stands apart from other late-night hosts. She’s not a copy of them, she is an original—quite frankly, with more balls than the rest, because she really goes out there and says what’s up, slicing through the messy political landscape each week and doing it all with a wink. To be such a powerful, hilarious figure in the mix, calling it as she sees it, is courageous beyond words. We wanted to honor that individuality. “

Project Credits 
  • Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Executive Producer
    Steven Anderson
  • Creative Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Senior Producer
    Bryan Haney
  • Director of Photography
    Michael Bove
  • Editor
  • Lead Designer
    Duarte Elvas
  • Motion Designers
    Josh Smiertka
  • Jake Mathew
  • Leah Evans
  • Tanner Wickware
  • Additional Design
    Levi Reardon
  • Associate Producer
    Natalie Stone
Client Credits 
  • Client
    Samantha Bee
  • Executive Producer
    Samantha Bee
  • Miles Kahn
  • Alison Camillo
  • Producer
    Chris Savage
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