Marshal’s Law, part sitcom, part reality show, was produced for Loaded TV in 2012/13 by Golden Tortoise. Its intriguing mix of formats (not to mention tight time and budgetary constraints) provided an interesting challenge for the design of this sequence.
Parks and Recreation and How to Make It in America proved to be very useful references in establishing a style reference to aim for, which combined Parks’ character vignettes and HTMIIA’s photographic montages to create a very ramshackle tone – which fit the life of Lesland Marshal to a tee.
Similarly, the music does a great job of establishing Lesland’s aspirations. The whimsical harpsichord helps to evoke the BBC’s Sherlock, who is at the opposite end of the crime-fighting scale to Lesland, a PCSO who dreams of one day being ‘proper’ police, while also embodying Lesland’s slightly clumsy nature.
Despite the concept being established relatively quickly, the sequence was actually deceptively complicated. About half of the sequence was composed with pre-existing footage of Lesland from earlier projects which, while useful for time considering the series had only just gone into production, also introduced a slight continuity problem as there were noticeable differences in the Lesland’s PSCO costume. Some tracking, masking and colour correction soon saw to that though, and you’d never know the difference! Well, unless you looked at the glasses, which are also different.
There was also quite a lot of subtle image manipulation utilised to re-expose some shots and clean up other visual details. For example, Dawn’s shop now features some of Donny’s records hanging in the background, Donny’s moustache doesn’t look quite so stuck on, Shetland Tony’s mansion is more symmetrical (removing a bush that annoyingly unbalanced the shot), the Nuttleworth sign is a composite, and the programme’s title (being a real stitched badge) required quite a lot of cleaning up as it looked fairly tatty close up.
CLIENT Golden Tortoise