In February 2013, the team at Perception began developing a wide range of concepts, designs and animations to populate Detroit 2028 in the 2014 remake of Robocop. Perception worked both on-site with Director Jose Padilha, and from their NYC offices developing point-of-view HUDs, large-screen interfaces, and even a talk-show set and broadcast package. Perception's knack for realistic future-tech was a perfect match for the film's gritty aesthetic, not just serving as set-dressing, but as a crucial story-telling component.
Early in the production, several members of our team were flown to Canada to work closely with director José Padilha on his vision. They worked side by side to ensure all graphic elements supported the story while still maintaining their look and realism.
The Heads up displays for the EM 208, ED 209, Robocop 1.0, and Robocop 3.0 are some of the main storytelling devices throughout the film. The director was adamant that everything on screen must have a purpose. This meant that every design choice had to have a reason to exist and couldn't just be there for set dressing. Additionally, each H.U.D. had to show a progression in technology. Like all of our projects, we start our process off with a range of designs.
It was important to the director that no space was wasted. These screens were like another character in the movie and the story was dependent on the information they were conveying.
The EM 208 and ED 209 robots are the precursor to Robocop so all of the H.U.D.s had to feel like they belong in the same family. We created a logic that remains at the core of each design while improving the look to convey the developing technology.
For The Novak Element we were tasked with creating the virtual set design, the control room interface, the show package, and various other screens that appear throughout the segment.
The Novak Element is our window into the world of Robocop and Pat Novak is the filter in which we view it. The virtual set had to be a satirical view of the news programs of today, while also feeling like it could fit in amongst them.
For the control room we created the tabletop consoles on a modular grid system containing a limited number of unique shapes. These shapes could then be rearranged and duplicated as needed to avoid similarities between consoles.
The Novak Show package contains several elements for The Novak Element. We created the show open, redesigned logo, lower thirds, and transitions. We approached these the same way we would approach any other broadcast package to create a cohesive look and feel throughout The Novak Element.
In addition to all the other content we created there are some elements that don't fall into any organized category. These are screens for the Pentagon, lab equipment, OCP sizzle reel, and more that appear throughout the film.
The entire team at Perception is thrilled to have had the opportunity to contribute so much material to the Robocop mythology. Robocop opens February 12th in theaters and IMAX.