Using the original, iconic bathtub scene as a starting reference, the duo created a sequence that acts as a metaphor for Norman Bates' descent into madness as his ability to distinguish reality from insanity goes down the drain.
Oliver comments, “With a property like Bates, we’re lucky to have source material that’s already such an iconic part of cinema history. As soon as the final shot is revealed, audiences know the characters in the show are in trouble. Having that kind of short-hand freed us up to imbue these setups that are mostly inanimate objects with a sense of threat and danger.”
Eric adds, “The show also walks a fine line between old and new, and this off-kilter sense of humor that’s offset by sheer terror. So our sound design and music choices played with that idea – the sweetness of those old Motown records being turned into this contemporary, sinister version of the strings from Psycho. The cherry on top is this deliberate movement throughout that amplifies the sense of inevitable doom.”
The team didn’t have access to show talent, so they used body doubles and recreated their faces. Over 70% of the shots in the promo were created entirely in CG by The Mill’s 3D team, then seamlessly composited together. Mill Colourist Mikey Rossiter then enhanced the ominous feel with one of his trademark killer grades.