Piers Helm of Creative Nuts explains the process of creating the glamorous intro for the BBC's annual primetime show
Now into its 14th year, Strictly Come Dancing is one of BBC One's most successful primetime Saturday night shows, partnering 15 celebrities with professional dancers over a 14-week competition to find the best ballroom and Latin dancer.
The on-screen graphics need to reflect the glitz and glamour of the show, and each year this is down to Piers Helm of Creative Nuts, creative director and co-owner of a boutique motion graphics studio based in Soho, London that specializes in title sequences, channel branding and promos. Helm won the pitch for the very first show in 2004 and has been creating and developing them ever since, refining the sequence and graphics for each series.
While the overall structure of the intro sequence remains familiar, the technology has changed drastically since its first outing in 2004. "What's interesting about the Strictly titles is that they've spanned many technological improvements," says Helm. "From the original titles filmed in SD on Betacam, using real objects and curtains and a real mirror ball, to the move to a 100% HD workflow. During the early days a few assets were created in Cinema 4D while I was learning the program. Now everything is created in Cinema 4D and After Effects apart from the dancers! Who knows, in ten years' time even those could be done in Cinema 4D, too!"