History’s Swamp People is coming back for season 10 but as the above spot reveals, it’s never really safe to go back in the water.
The idea for this tease came from History itself, proposing to Los Angeles-based creative agency that they create a tease in which the camera pans out from the scene of people calmly sitting on a dock and dipping their toes in the water to the reflected scene in the golden eye of a crocodile lurking nearby.
“While doing a Wikipedia deep-dive one night, I learned alligators actually have 3 eyelids—a top and bottom one like humans have, but also a vertical one that moves across the eye. When you see it up-close, it’s really rather creepy, so I knew I wanted to feature it somehow in a spot,” said History creative director Brian Huffman. “But when I learned from the [executive producer] of the series, Jennifer Wagman, that the new season of Swamp People would center on the rise of alligator attacks in southern Louisiana, the idea was born: what if Jaws were about an alligator and not a shark?
“The initial shot—the dangling legs off the end of a swamp dock—elicits a vulnerable feeling that reminds me of that monster-under-the-bed fear we all had as children. To me, tapping into that vulnerability is what makes the spot work so well.”
“Stock footage of a swamp was surprisingly hard to come by, so we composited trees and plants native to the show’s Louisiana setting into the final shot,” said Andrea Dionisio, creative director at METAphrenie. “The tight schedule didn’t allow time for modeling the alligator in 3D so instead we combined live-action footage of an alligator with projection mapping to create the parallax shift for the camera pull-out.”
METAphrenie also produced a customizable graphics toolkit for upcoming Swamp People promos on A+E-owned History.
Season 10 of Swamp People premieres Thursday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on History.
Executive Creator Director: Tim Nolan
VP, History Creative: Matthew Neary
Creative Director: Brian Huffman