Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Titles of True Detective

We're not even two full months into 2014, and people are already name-dropping True Detective as one of the best shows of the year. I have to say, I'm one of them; the show has great writing, amazing production (that six-minute tracking shot, anyone?) and don't even get me started on the acting. It's basically an 8 hour movie broken up into bite sized pieces, and it's pretty damn close to being perfect.

And all of this - the acting, the production, etc. - starts with the title sequence. Art of the Title pulled through once more, this time with a really fascinating interview with Creative Director Patrick Clair (check out his design studio, Antibody, here). Clair was given the first three scripts of True Detective ahead of time, to get a feel for the tone of the show before he started exploring with visual ideas. The main focus of the title sequence is to juxtapose the show's characters with the landscape of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, as the setting is almost a character in itself.
"It made sense for the titles to feature portraits of the lead characters built out of the place they lived. "
Many of the images are based off of the style of double exposure, and Director Cary Fukunaga  immediately agreed with the direction that Clair was taking things. They decided they wanted to make the still images seem more like living photographs, so the production team actually took some shots and slowed them down to about 10%-20% of their original speed. They also digitally recreated certain still photos, so that they could move the camera around objects that were previously in 2D. It's subtle, but a very effective technique, much like what we messed around with in class a few weeks ago.

When all was said and done, they added lots of effects and optical flares and matched the cuts to the music (the brooding "Far from any Road" by the Handsome Family) to get the final credit sequence. I thought it was really cool to get an inside look at a sequence from a show that I'm so currently in love with, and it was a little bit of an inspiration for me to get going on my own credit sequence.

Read the full article here

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