Following ratings-driving promos for “Dance Moms” and “Preachers' Daughters,” Roger continues to deliver high-end creative for Lifetime TV. The LA-based mixed-media production studio recently reunited with the network to produce a live-action promo for the new scripted comedy-drama series “Devious Maids” from executive producer Eva Longoria and Marc Cherry, the creator of "Desperate Housewives."
Roger Creative Director Terry Lee co-directed the darkly humorous promo with Joe Nichols, Creative Director at A&E Networks/Lifetime TV, which visualizes the show’s premise: five ambitious Beverly Hills maids entangled in a bourgeoisie web of murder and deceit. “Devious Maids” is set to premiere on June 23, 2013.
“The response to this promo has been remarkable,” says Nichols. “Roger isn’t just a super-buttoned-up production company, they are true creative partners and collaborators. They have no ego; they are full of great ideas, great taste and lots of experience. I would definitely work with them again.”
In the promo, cocktail party espionage never looked so sexy – or scandalous. Serving hors d'oeuvres and champagne to the filthy rich, the maids zero in on everyone’s dirty secrets. Sultry cinematic pacing clue in on otherwise low-profile sordidness implicating the party guests. The spot concludes with the maids reciting the tagline, “Keep your friends close, but your maids closer.”
“The concept was to have our five devious maids work it at one big decadent party and naturally, get the dirt on everyone in the process,” explains Nichols. “It had to be fun, and we had to make sure that viewers felt connected to them – like they were along for the ride. Terry and Roger helped to make sure our concept was as great as it could possibly be, from start to finish. They helped me with my storyboards, the CG previz, which was truly invaluable, the art direction and the effect shots.”
“Collaborating with Joe was a great experience,” adds Lee. “We were able to bring our sensibility of fun into the deviousness. During pre-production, our focus was blocking and choreographing the scenes to hone both the comedic timing and melodrama that Joe’s concept called for. It was all about keeping the viewer attuned to the various degrees of foul play and foster anticipation of what's next in an exciting way. We were able to culminate the narrative action in post with our VFX team and the AV Squad, who delivered a beautifully crafted edit.”
Albeit primarily live-action, the promo’s climactic moment relied on the seamless execution of a VFX shot in which a femme fatale vengefully spikes her lover’s champagne. Roger’s CG artists created a 3D close-up of a skull-etched poison pill dramatically effervescing into a glass.
“Lifetime has been a great creative ally,” concludes Lee. “The premise of the show opened us up to exciting filmmaking possibilities. We could be sexy, comedic, cinematic and stylized, and then tie it all together in a unique way to create a level of intrigue that makes you want to tune in and see what ‘Devious Maids’ is all about.”