Murdered: Soul Suspect is an adventure stealth video game published by Square Enix. The story centers around detective Ronan O'Connor as he hunts down the infamous serial-killer, 'The Bell Killer' in a fictionalized version of the American town, Salem. After being killed by the Bell Killer at the beginning of the game, Ronan is revived as a ghost. He is then informed that he must find out the identity of the Bell Killer so he can join his long-dead wife, Julia.
As part of the promotional campaign for the release of the game the agency Liquid Crimson produced a range of assets, both stills and video, and asked me to art direct and shoot them.
We shot a series of images of crime scenes of the victims of thre Bell Killer, old murders that are referred to in the back story of the game:
And as a teaser campaign a series of images of the the Bell Symbol, which the killer always leaves behind at the scenes of the murders. The Bell Symbols were a lot of fun to shoot, coming up with ideas for locations and ways that the symbol could be marked, and then going out and shooting all sorts of quirky locations, chalking the symbol on walls and writing it in the steam on a friends bathroom window.
For the murder scenes we were provided with written descriptions of the murders, and murder victims, which i worked up intop thumbnail sketches, thinking about the actual physical scene described and also how best to portray that in an interesting, cinematic way.
I then further developed these into working concept sketches for the client. The images did eveolve beyond this point based on client feedback and the physical constraints of some of the locations we were working in, but they were a useful guide for everyone working on the shoot.
Before the shoot itself I also drew up lighting diagrams, so that we could be as quick and efficient on the actual shoot day as possible.
The image of the girl who is tied to a chair and drowned in a river, in a grisly recreation of the old witches ducking stool, was 90% practical. A large black cloth background was hung up and our set stylist brought in reeds, greasses and bullrushes to create the feel of an ourtdoor riverside setting. The model was tied up and wetted down, and a smoke machine was used to create depth and atmosphere to the scene.
Once we had the shot it took very little post production to make the dark, gothic final image.