creative function

Cruel Britannia

Concept - Art Direction - Shoot Direction - Design - Delivery

By Paul Maley - January, 2019

"Britannia season 2 came back bigger, braver and bolder. After lower than expected viewing figures for season 1, it needed a fresh new bolder approach to reflect the changes in the show. The plan was set, to create a brand that would catch the audiences eye and would stick in their minds across all media"


When this project started, we had nothing but a proposition to go on, no scripts, no clips and no usable assets (just a few shots from season 1 we were unable to use in the final work). After watching the first season and breaking down the proposition revealing a story of the "dead man" (represented by a snake) and "chaos" I had enough to start some idea buckets.


Show Proposition


The fight for control of Britannia continues when a dead man awakens and chaos is unleashed.


At this point a few early routes included:

Statements: Irreverent bold statements that represent the characters attitudes, such as "Cait" the innocent girl prophesied to defeat the Roman army, and the "Druid outcast" who is anything but polite.

Snake: Roman style statues embraced and tangled by "the dead man" the cast are reacting differently to the snake depending on their relationship with him.

Eye of the storm: Chaos and in fighting circle the dead man as he controls and manipulates everyone.

Made in Britannia: The emotional and physical turmoil take its toll on the characters, But in Britannia "What don't kill you. Makes you!

The Creative


After initial ideas were submitted I was faced with an epic 2 day shoot, capturing 9 talent, across 2 stills shoots and the team capturing a whole load of motion assets for social and Bumpers.

However soon after the shoot the project direction was re-briefed so it was back to the drawing board to think again.


Fortunately we had gathered a huge amount of assets, and after some back and forth with the client, it was agreed upon that creating a system that gave flexibility to boldly focus on one talent / tribe / story whilst still having other talent / tribes / story present was the main desire.

I was adamant from the start I didn't want this to become the regular line up trap that a lot of key art campaigns can easily fall into.


We liked the idea of using the symbols from the druids as tattoos, and used them to create a framing for each character.

I still loved the idea of going punk and go against what had been established in season 1, which was also a great opportunity to reintroduce a bit more attitude and unique style.

After trying numerous grades and levels of retouch we decided on pulling it all back to be very natural, keeping dirty faces, wrinkles and imperfections, this seemed to fit well with the thought of them living outdoors.

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