Saturday, August 18, 2007

Forget the Films, Watch the Titles

Title sequences can, and should, be much more than a series of credit titles and if approached creatively, set the narrative scene for the film to follow. Many studios invest so much time, money and creativity into these opening sequences, that they become masterpieces in their own right. Dutch media platform Submarine Channel has begun to collate an online archive of the best title sequences, and although some of the best are yet to be included due to copyright issues, there are some great examples.

Some of my favourites include Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events directed by Jamie Caliri. I really liked the style of illustration used for this title sequence and the art direction ensured the sequence moved smoothly from one frame to another, keeping the audiences' attention for it's entirity.

The Number 23, directed by Michelle Dougherty is a good example of using a title sequence to set the scene for the film and to offer the audience a background to the film's narrative plot. This opening sequence is based entirely on type and graphics but is arresting and draws the audience into the thinking behind the film; ' "We wanted to tell a bit of the story of how the number 23 is a recurring number throughout history" says title director Michelle Dougherty.
"I wanted people to feel a little uncomfortable. By creating tension with the titles, you understand that this is not going to be a tame movie".

This is a really interesting area of design as the need for creative, visually communicative concepts for title sequences is continuous and new approaches are always craved. For anyone interested in illustration, animation, moving image etc the site is a great source of inspiration and reference, well worth a browse through the various collections.

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