Sunday, February 20, 2011

New look: Channel 5 (UK)

Channel 5 is the fifth nationwide television network in the United Kingdom, launched in 1997, and marketed as "Five" since 2002. It was owned by RTL Group for a long time until July 2010, when they sold the channel to newspaper mogul Richard Desmond's company Northern & Shell. One of the first changes he announced was that the name would be changed back from Five to "Channel 5".

Some time before the rebrand, the logo on the left started showing up from various sources, including reputable ones and Channel 5 themselves.

When Channel 5 finally relaunched with a new graphics package and a new name on February 14, the word channel had been removed.

The idents were produced by Earth, a production studio in London, and filmed at Studio Barrandov in the Czech Republic. The idea behind the idents is called "Stage 5", and the idents are set at a soundstage with a large screen

Press release (archive)
The Art & Business of Motion
The Ident Gallery

The former logo, introduced in 2008.

The following frames come from videos on Earth's website.

"Imagination" ident.

"Drum" ident.
Credits, from Earth's website:
Channel Five Idents
Director: Rich Thrift
Producer: Mike Capon
Creative Director: Rich Thrift
Art Director: Geoff Parsons
DOP: Fede Alfonzo
Client: Five
The Art & Business of Motion has posted a behind-the-scenes video were one can see the idents being shot. It also contains an explanation of the new look. The following quote comes from the video, were Channel 5 director Rich Thift explains the concept:
The idea of stage 5 came out of the need to have some idents that were very versatile, that could change with the content, because Channel 5 is obviously a channel which has lots of different content on it. So the concept is to have this giant screen in this beautiful pristine lovely space, that going forward we can change how the room works, whats on the screen, how the sceen works, what the screen does have interact, so its basically a blank canvas.

The ident that we've chosen to shoot cover of a lot of different aspects of Channel 5. Basically, due to the very short timeframe we've got to make this, I mean, on the bduget we have we're trying to make something that's quite ambitious, its essentially movie grade computer graphics, so it should look like something you could see in a cinema

We pitched out many many different companies, and Earth came back with this proposition which involved - one of our executions is a car chase, and we always thought we had to build it in CG and they actually said "No, we just go out a shoot a car chase, we've got this place in Prague, this company called Stilkin, who should be really really good".

Mike Capon, producer at Earth:
The reason for shooting in Prague was basically down to economics, we also came because we have Bararandov studios here, one of the largest studio complexes in Europe. We had to work out what was the best methodology to use, which we ended up deciding on a mixture of live action photography and CGI visual effects.

Excerpt from a press release from Channel 5:
Channel 5 have had an exciting period of change over the last quarter and have been building towards a new direction across its portfolio of channels, both in programming, and with its on screen brand identity.

From Monday 14th February 2011, viewers will see the new refreshed Channel 5 logo and idents, which will create a more consistent experience for the audience.

Alongside this on the same evening, we will have the first broadcast from Channel 5 News presenters Emma Crosby (7.00pm bulletin) and Matt Barbet (5.00pm bulletin). [...]

There has also been a change to Channel 5’s digital channel, FIVER, which is to be re-branded as 5* (star) from 7th March 2011. The channel will feature a new logo that highlights the energy, optimism and fun loving attitude of the channel along with cutting edge acquisitions and new commissions. 5USA will also have a branding refresh with new idents, which will also go live from 7th March.

With the switch to digital television, the terrestrial networks in the United Kingdom have all launched digital subchannels. For Channel 5, those are currently Fiver, which has a general entertainment profile, and Five USA which shows programmes fom the United States.

On February 3, it was announced that Fiver would renamed 5* (pronounced "Five Star"). The logo for both 5* and 5USA were revealed a few days later. Both were designed in-house at Northern & Shell. Broadcast Design Week

The relaunch of 5* and 5USA is scheduled for March 7.

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