Spot the Hidden Movie References in Film 4's Stylish New Idents

Branding Gives Nods to Cinema's Greatest Moments Within a Moving Film Strip Effect

Published On
Sep 02, 2014

Editor's Pick

Movie buffs will love the new idents for Film 4, Channel Four's free-to-air U.K. film channel. Not only are they stylishly shot to create a moving film strip effect, they reference cinema history from "Moonrise Kingdom" to "The Shining," "Vertigo" to "The Graduate."

The set of sixteen idents -- a selection of which can be seen here, along with a Making Of film -- were conceived, designed and directed by London branding & motion design agency Man vs Machine, under the creative directorship of Daniel Chase, 4Creative's Head of on-air promotions for Film 4.

According to Chase, the idents reference around a hundred movies, but many of the film references evolved organically, with people suggesting them as filming went along (for example, in staircase ident, someone suggested placing a red balloon in there). While some are obvious, many of the references are subtle; none of the idents are clearly just one movie, said Chase. "They work on a number of different levels; some people might spot obvious things, but the real film buffs will be able to pick them apart and spot other things; for example, in the motel room there's a pair of heart-shaped glasses on the bedside table that's a nod to 'Lolita.' And then some are open to interpretation -- other people will spot things that aren't intentional at all."

To achieve the film strip effect by stacking scenes, Man vs Machine used a camera passed through the ceiling and floor of the various scenes. This was achieved by digging holes in the ground at the exterior locations whilst all interior locations were built as sets and mounted on decking (the exception being the stairway which was shot looking upwards).


Sep 02, 2014
Head of On-Air:
Dan Chase
Liz Arnott
Director, Photography:
Alex Barber
Post Producer:

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