Draft Day

Draft Day

2014 • Lionsgate
Dir. Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day tracks the Cleveland Browns’ GM, Sonny Weaver, Jr. (Kevin Costner) during the tense 12 hours leading up to the NFL draft.

In addition to the main-on-end title sequence, the film features split-screen sequences that show characters on the phone negotiating with each other. Ivan Reitman wanted to give the phone call scenes some visual flair, and asked us to develop a new look for split-screens.

We started with a traditional split-screen design, then broke the dividing line, so to speak. Characters frequently cross the dividing line that appears between two shots, and the line moves horizontally to emphasize which character is more dominant in the moment. The result is a surprising and kinetic look:

“A clever visual device designed by Jenny Smith and Gareth Lee [sic] sparks the movie with fluid split-screens, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. They transform Costner’s frequent phone calls into arresting sequences that keep our eyes busy while we’re absorbing story points and information.”

- Leonard Maltin on Indiewire

Additional animator: Theo Alexopolous

Here is an example of the split-screen technique:

More about the editing process with editors Dana E. Glauberman and Sheldon Kahn, and about the split-screen design with Smith & Lee at soundandpicture.com.