Flixel and A&E Bring Bates Motel Psycho Homage to Life

Bates Motel: Hit Show on A&E

Inspired by the Hitchcock genre-defining film Psycho, Bates Motel is a runaway hit on A&E. The show follows main characters Norman and Norma bates, son and mother, as they move to a small town and take over an old, grungy hotel. Murder, conspiracies and lust, this drama packs in a lot of action with a passion-filled plot. As the show progresses, viewers and fans watch as Norman slowly looses his mind, and as Entertainment Weekly put it, “more or less becoming who fans expected when the Psycho-inspired show first began.” With the season 3 premiere of Bates Motel set to air on March 9th, A&E wanted to try something newsworthy and exciting for the promotion; they wanted to try creating cinemagraphs.

Flixel Cinemagraphs: Homage to Psycho

If you’ve seen Hitchcock’s Psycho, you’ll quickly pick up on the clear reference being made in this cinemagraph series. Stark, black and white images depict Norman and his mother, Norma, standing eerily in a room with white walls and obscure objects. With Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, the infamous rocking chair shot is brought to life, telling a story through the simple and creepy rhythm of the chair infinitely moving back and forth. Already, we can see that the Bates Motel cinemagraphs posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr are getting a lot of engagement. Thousands of shares, and many comments; by looking at the interactions, it’s clear that fans are drawn to these hybrid photos. Check out the example below of the original Psycho rocking chair photo, next to its new hybrid counterpart.

Original Psycho rocking chair photo.

Guy Slattery, EVP of Marketing for A&E noted, “In the first couple of seasons, we wanted to avoid referencing ‘Psycho’ too overtly… but I think everyone understands that this is a very different and original story, [so] we thought it’d be fun to sort of nod to the heritage.” Slattery also discusses how, “Freddie Highmore has really made Norman Bates his own and those Anthony Perkins images from the original shoot are so iconic, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun just to try and recreate them with Freddie? It’s really just something for the fans, the people who sort of get it.”

On Set & Creative Direction

The creative direction and execution of this shoot came from pro photographer, Dylan Coulter, with the help of Mark Homza from Flixel Studios. With the work of the A&E team, we managed to create stunningly eerie cinemagraphs that will live on forever, much like the story of Psycho.

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.


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