Friday, January 24, 2014

Opening Credits Don't Have to Be Boring

When I was a kid, I used to hate the opening title sequences of movies. Just absolutely, 100%, flat-out hatred. I didn't understand why there had to be credits at the beginning of a film and at the end. It just didn't make sense.

Now, however - after taking Fiction Field 1 and actually learning about all of the positions involved in making a film - I have a whole new appreciation for opening credits. I realized that all of those names that I used to loathe probably worked incredibly hard to make the best film that they possibly could, and that they absolutely deserve to get credit twice throughout the duration of the movie. That being said, some opening credits still suck. We talked about this briefly in class, but the opening of a movie has to try and delicately balance the themes of a movie without giving too much away (if your movie is about bikes, find things that have some kind of offbeat connection to bikes, etc.) but also hold the interest of your audience at the same time.

After we looked at it in class, I started poking through some posts on the website Art of The Title, and I found two slightly similar opening credit sequences that I think really find this right balance of being informative and entertaining. The first was from the 2009 Jason Reitman film Up in the Air, about a man who spends most of his time on airplanes, traveling from job to job across the country. Here's the full video, along with an interview with Garreth Smith, a designer and frequent collaborator with Reitman.

Smith talks about the whole technical process of how they made the title sequence, but it stands out to me because of it's overall simplicity and because of the unique 2d/3d effect the names and titles have. Some may just appear flat against the backdrop, but other names seem to be floating in and out of clouds. It's a pretty cool layering effect. You also get the basic idea that this movie has a lot to do with flying.

The second title sequence I watched is actually from a show that I'm currently re-watching: Archer. This one is animated, but is fairly similar to Up In the Air. It has the same sliding panels and the same kind of transitions from one name to the next in the credits. It also gives you a pretty cool retro-spy vibe, which isn't particularly a good indicator of what the show is about, but is entertaining nonetheless. I'm really excited at the chance to make an alternative opening credit sequence for some film or show, and I think I'll definitely get some inspiration from both of these.

No comments :

Post a Comment