The Colbert Report, starring Stephen Colbert, is a half-hour program that spoofs mainstream political analysts such as Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews. Its design embraces all things patriotic. Rather than recreate a Factor or Hardball design, Verb creative director Greg Duncan says, “We decided to amp it up and build Stephen into a fully-realized three-dimensional world of hyper-patriotism, replete with macho adjectives, a large squawking eagle and a giant, chrome-plated 3D ‘C’ for Colbert.”
The team started by shooting Colbert in a variety of cliched, news anchor-esque poses on a greenscreen stage.
“We brought in a jib arm to get some great angles and we put Stephen on a turntable,” explains Verb executive producer Bill Bergeron. “Stephen instantly figured out the comic possibilities of the turntable, like allowing his legs to spin a little too far as he spins around. Everyone on set was laughing for much of the shoot.”
Verb lead designer Andrew ‘Stubbs’ Johnston and designer ‘Be’ Chamlinaroen worked on designing the patriotic world. They designed and built elements using Apple Power Mac G5s, Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D. Editing was performed in Final Cut Pro with Blackmagic Design hardware. The sophisticated CGI eagle, Colbert’s co-star and alter-ego in the show open, was created by Andreas Berner using Alias Maya on a Mac.