When I worked at TV Land, Nick@Nite was also a part of our network. During that time we acquired A Different World and I was so excited because it is by far my favorite show ever! When I learned A Different World was coming to Nick at Nite I asked my supervisor to consider me as designer/art director for the network launch and when she told me the project was mine I was more than thrilled.
The show coming to NAN was a big deal and we wanted it to be huge so the producer, writer and I came up with the idea of doing A Different World class reunion. So in introducing the show to the network we thought it would be fun to re-introduce the characters as they would be today had the show continued on. This would require several shoots with the cast along with designed graphics to support the cast interviews. As acting art director not only was I responsible for the graphics but also for researching and providing input on how the characters would be dressed and how their sets would be designed. That in itself was a huge project. We had to stay true to the characters' personalities while adding a mature flavor since their once college characters have aged into mature adults with careers and families.
The other day I came across all the paperwork and files from this two-year-old project and thought it would be fun to share the progression of what was involved.
After coming up with the concept for the shoot (which I didn't get to go to by the way, it was in LA and I was very sad that I was not going to meet Denise, oops I mean Lisa Bonet, oops I mean Liliquoi Moon) we had to discuss with the wardrobe stylist how each character would be dressed. Here is a look at a few scans I took in from catalogs and magazines to help inspire their outfits.
Then we met with the set designer and talked about the space in which each character would be placed. For this I also scanned in images of what the producer and I thought was appropriate and then the set designer came back with these photos she took of different pieces that would work with our ideas.
Finally, after the shoot was underway I had to work on the storyboards for each network promo. The promos tell you what the program is about and when it will air. Since it was a big network launch I had to create about twenty different promo elements. Because each character from the show would be highlighted and reminiscing about their college days I wanted the promos to feel like the viewer was going through the Hillman college yearbook. The boards below represent the vignette we did for Bonet's character, Denise Huxtable.
Once the storyboards where done I would sit with the animator and explain how everything comes together. He or she brings my graphics and all the elements from the shoot together and here is the end result. (Please note this is a rough of the final promo.)