The second season of Mike White’s dark comedy series “The White Lotus” is “a bedroom farce with teeth,” according to the director.
And the first episode of the series, which debuted on HBO on October 30, doesn’t waste any time getting right to the point.
Then, using a method known as “camera slides,” visual effects were added with After Effects software to generate movement and a sense of space.
The storytelling of the sequence also played a significant role in the process.
Various sexual actions between humans and animals are interspersed throughout; Leda and the Swan also appear.
The second season of Mike White’s dark comedy series “The White Lotus” is “a bedroom farce with teeth,” according to the director. And the first episode of the series, which debuted on HBO on October 30, doesn’t waste any time getting right to the point. In this episode, a brand-new collection of characters—save for Tanya McQuoid, played by Jennifer Coolidge—arrive at the Sicilian outpost of the titular resort, where their trip amid a sensuous utopia is already dogged by infidelity, promiscuity, duplicity, and death.
These high-stakes sexual politics are appropriately introduced in the new title credits sequence of the television show, which deftly alludes to the season’s central themes. The first 90-second piece features pastoral love images painted in the manner of early Moorish and Roman murals and Italian Renaissance art. However, things quickly take a nasty turn as a villa burns in the distance, goats engage in copulation, a hunter spears a boar, and a bloodied dagger is exposed, all to the accompaniment of a frantic house rhythm provided by composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer.
The sequence was created and directed by Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore of Plains of Yonder. This film company also designed the main titles for the first season of the television programme. It was influenced by both the harsh satire and the Italian setting of the programme. Crawford told Artnet News that the trompe-l’oeil nature of the frescos was a contributing factor in Mike White’s fondness for them. “This idea of deceiving the eye or what appears to be reality isn’t” was a good theme for the programme.
The paintings were modelled after authentic frescoes from the 16th century discovered all around the Palermo villa where the season was filmed. According to Bashore, the images represent “fantastical gardens and a lot of animals and birds,” and Crawford took high-resolution pictures of the paintings and the buildings they were painted on. The two called this process of altering and animating these images to match new narrative needs “hybridising.”