Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story, the prequel to the wildly successful Bridgerton series from Shondaland has just released on Netflix, and Studio AKA’s very own Manddy Wyckens directed its enchanted Main Title Sequence. This hotly anticipated prequel tells the story of young Queen Charlotte's rise to prominence and her love story with King George.
Studio AKA's team of talented animation artists helped bring Wyckens' vision to life.
Manddy Wyckens herself said: “The original idea was to create a sequence that retraces the steps of Queen Charlotte in a similar fashion to the show, which has been done by weaving vignettes in such a way that we glimpse at the story and blur the lines between the Queen from the past and the one in the present. We kept it subtle, connecting shots with match cuts and glimpses in mirrors and shadows, all the while maintaining a regal pace to the sequence. We have accomplished this with a sharp illustrative style that stays elusive and blurs the lines: some things will stay in the shadows, indiscernible, and some things will boldly take their place in the light - all the while keeping a single-point of focus on the Queen.
This is served by plenty of contrast and negative space to let the titles shine. And yet, every little detail bears symbols, references, or clues about the show. Ultimately, it was a joy to create such finely crafted visuals and direct these titles, special thanks to director Tom Verica’s trust in us and for the opportunity to work on a Shonda Rhimes project.”
Wyckens is a Director, Designer, and Art Director who specializes in background painting and character design. She creates bold compositions and contrasts to make vibrant and atmospheric backgrounds. Her character designs are minimalistic, similar to her landscapes, and captured with an elegant line or sharp edge to portray their attitude and personality with a few graceful strokes. Manddy Wyckens is a graduate of both Gobelins and Calarts. You can see more of her work here.
Wyckens' distinctive illustrative style is showcased in the opening titles, which harmoniously complement the opulent qualities that are characteristic of the Bridgerton universe. The result is a captivating and refined sequence that exudes allure. The titles are presented in a tastefully minimalist manner, featuring a sequence of enigmatic vignettes that follow Queen Charlotte as she traverses the palace grounds. Each vignette alludes to key moments from the series. Through the use of shadows and reflections, the sequence skillfully transitions between the young and old Queen Charlotte, poignantly portraying her journey to becoming a monarch. The deliberately unhurried, cinematic pace, stylized framing, and expertly executed match cuts come together to form a coherent visual narrative that draws the viewer into the story.
Here's a fun bonus, a behind-the-scenes clip of Mandy showing us how her typical day animating works goes.
Produced By Studio AKA
Director/Art Director: Manddy Wyckens
Storyboard Artist: Marcus Armitage
Coordinator: Justine Waldie
Designers: Joe Dennis, Manddy Wyckens
2D Animators & Assistants: Janina Putzker, Matthias Cuciniello. Matthew Armitage, Aylen Solander
Compositors: Will Eager, Ignatz Higham-Johnson
Executive Producer: Nikki Kefford-White
Producer: Lara Salam
Editor: Nic Gill
Production Coordinator: Ren Pesci
Production Assistant: Sarah McDonald