Cleopatra Re-imagined


The brief for this project was to re-imagine a new concept for the opening title sequence of the 1963 film ‘Cleopatra’. This project combined research into the ancient era and analysis of one of the most expensive Hollywood movies ever made. The final sequence is an enchanting, vibrant and elaborate visual outcome.

The concept I presented was focused around a grand stairwell, symbolic of the journey that the characters attempt to partake in the film. That is, an incessant social climb to reach the highest power, something seemingly impossible. There is a wide variety of symbolic objects appearing throughout the sequence that represent certain aspects of characters and the time period. Some of these items also foreshadow events in the film, instilling curiosity, excitement and anticipation within the viewer.

I utilised this project as a student with Monash University at the time, to explore the use of lighting, camera and 3D space in Adobe After Effects to create an immersive and atmospheric outcome. The building blocks are a series of 2D image assets arranged in a 3D space. My personal, technical focus for this project was to add motion to otherwise inanimate props in order to breathe life into them and promote viewer engagement even in the absence of human characters. Planning and storyboarding was integral to begin the process. 

All assets were digitally sketched & textured by myself using using digital hand-drawn techniques in Procreate and Photoshop. Textures were sourced from real footage or photographs taken by myself specifically for this animated piece. The animation was then further refined with use of animated light sources, particles and animated camera movement. This project was experimental and allowed me to explore the combination of real footage, motion and some frame by frame animation.