Digital and Branding
Territory Projects
Screen Graphics

Screen surveillance in the world of counter terrorism

Title: American Assassin
Clients: CBS Films
Categories: Action

Coming on board in pre-production, Territory was briefed to concept, design and animate screen graphic content for on set and VFX delivery.

A contemporary story about an elite US counter-terrorism unit out to stop a mysterious operative intent on starting a world war in the Middle East, it was clear that our creative approach required respect for the subject and absolute commitment to authenticity. From initial research of real world military UI to final screen concepts, restraint, subtlety, depth of thought and a strong aesthetic were all cued into the typography, visuals and graphic story beats. Working closely with both the art department and VFX Supervisor, we delivered over 200 final screens across 22 sets.

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Pre-production & Concept development

A military action thriller set in 2017, our work began in collaboration with Production Designer Andrew Laws with a script breakdown to map how and when technology interfaces could best support story, performance and action. Set in the technically sophisticated world of military ops, it became apparent that the technology required across the 22 sets ranged from giant wall screens to smartphones, laptops to desktop monitors, helicopter displays and Destroyer navigation and weapons systems.

A visual language

Informed by research into military surveillance technology and operating systems, Territory’s team worked closely with Laws, Set Decorator Naomi Moore and VFX supervisor Richard Reed to develop a series of visual languages specific to each set, context and device. From the CIA control room to terrorist messages, satellite images to tracking systems, our graphic interfaces balanced real world references with narrative requirements. Bespoke creative elements added visual interest to the design and emphasised the level of advanced technology that feeds into it, while ensuring visual clarity in shot, contextual consistency and narrative coherence.

CIA Control Room

One of the biggest challenges was designing the sheer volume of screen content for the CIA control room, which required around 130 screens that needed specific story pegged content. Preparing specific hero screens that directly supported plot and action, as well as all the other screens, required an embedded team on set to accommodate the director’s requests for amends to content or emphasis.

One BIG monitor

The CIA control room was a complex set and included a huge 11 metre wall screen that stretched the length of the room. Our live data surveillance feeds formed an impactful visual backdrop that supported story beats and performance.

Live on set

We created bespoke content for each set, from the Black Hawk’s multifunction displays, Navy Destroyer monitors and display units to CIA desktop and wall monitors. We presented concepts for each set, and for delivery worked with our playback partners to integrate the live animations with on-set screens, using pre-programmed sequences to simulate interaction.

VFX Delivery & Post production

Territory’s team worked on the film for 4 months, delivering graphics on set and for post. Working with Exec. VFX supervisor Tim Field and VFX Supervisor Paul Noris, the team then continued several months into post production, to deliver graphics that supported a change in edit down to the last day of VFX.

Project Credits

Studio Credits

Director Michael Cuesta
Production Designer Andrew Laws
Set Decorator Naomi Moore
Executive VFX Producer Tim Field
VFX Supervisor Richard Reed
VFX Supervisor Paul Norris


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