When James Gunn conjured up the opening credits for HBO’s “Peacemaker,” he and his creative team had one goal: to make it so interesting, engaging, and funny that people wouldn’t want to skip it.
And they pulled it off – the show’s opening sequence is a viral sensation.
Choreographer Charissa Barton recalls Wig Wam’s catchy earworm “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” being in the script and early drafts, and to prepare for the dance moves, she listened to it on repeat. Gunn’s suggestion was, “Think about variety shows from the 1960s and 1970s for inspiration.”
Production designer Lisa Sopher says when it came to coming up with ideas for sets, “I went home and was up all night drawing things. A bunch of Lamborghinis with bombs coming out of the back, three wolves just howling at the moon, and other ideas.
Barton kept in mind that she would be working with non-dancers and that her set would feature the cast of the series: John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee, Chukwudi Iwuji and Robert Patrick, as well than recurring actors like Elizabeth. Ludlow, who plays Adebayo’s wife. Barton says, “I found what felt right, accessible and achievable. It started in my body. I filmed moves and sent footage to James with the song on top.
With Gunn giving it the green light, Barton’s challenge was to pitch it to actors – but before that, she tried it on her husband, Alan Tudyk. She says, “He’s a non-dancer, but also an actor. Having him with me throughout the process gave me a great person to kick things off.
Barton’s next step was to research online who had had movement training or other previous dance work. She says, “I saw that Danielle Brooks was an excellent mover. I thought, ‘Yes, she can move.’ I learned that Jen Holland was a former gymnast, so I understood what the different levels could be.
What Barton wasn’t sure about was how each actor would approach learning dance moves. But luckily, “they were so professional and so committed to the idea of learning,” she says. “If we got stuck on something, it was all about repetition and reinforcement.”
While some met her expectations, others surprised her with their abilities. “Robert Patrick is an amazing actor and when he’s tasked with something he commits to it. I was impressed with his ability to move,” says Barton. She also had good words to say about Ludlow, which was admittedly hectic at first. “She had it. She was a good mover. What I saw was very different from how she treated it.”
And who was the mastermind behind turning off the camera? “Danielle Brooks,” Barton said.
As for the title screen itself, creative lead and lead title designer Duarte Elvas was careful to let the dance stand out. He says, “We didn’t want to interfere with what was on screen. Our goal was to improve, complement and inspire us a bit from the music. With that, Elvas and fellow title maker Erin Sarofsky turned to 80s hair metal posters as well as glam metal, and neon stood out. Elvas adds, “Sometimes people forget that our job is to turn a legal document into a work of art. Titles were measured to ensure that people’s names and titles were the same size. »
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