Thursday, April 24, 2014

Masters of Sex

While I was once again browsing Art of the Title for some inspiration for my title sequence (no Arturo, I'm not done yet) I stumbled upon the intro for Masters of Sex. Despite what you might think, the show is not a straight up porno, but rather a dramatization of the research done by William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the early sixties. So, yes, the show is about sex, but it's much more subtle and witty than the title would lead you to believe.

I haven't actually watched the show, but since it's on my - very long - list of things to watch, I thought I'd check out the title sequence. I was not disappointed. While the sequence doesn't give you a complete idea of what the show is actually about, what it does present you with is pretty hilarious. Without knowing the title of the show, a normal audience member might be tricked into thinking that they're just seeing a montage of stock footage: some animals, food, a bit of medical equipment. With the right mindset, however, it becomes...well...see for yourself. 

The sexual innuendos just keep coming. In an interview with Art of the Title, art director Leanne Dare of Elastic (the same company that does the title sequences for HBO's True Detective and Game of Thrones) said that the concept started with the question "how can we show sex without actually showing it?" and gradually grew from there. The answer to that question? Nailing the audience with a barrage of implied sex, from beavers to time-lapsed mushrooms to trains hurtling into tunnels. It's brilliant, really, and keeps with the general tone of the show. After realizing what they wanted to do with the title sequence, the creative team did what they do best and got - surprise - really creative. To see some really hilarious, really dirty gifs of rejected ideas (and to read the rest of the interview with Dare) head over to Art of the Title right here

The last bit of the sequence is pretty interesting as well: the two teenagers sitting on a bench. Dare explains that Masters and Johnson - the two scientists who studied sex in the 60s - broke up the Human Sexual Response Cycle into four stages: excitement, plateau, orgasmic, and resolution. If you look closely, that's exactly what the teens are doing at different points during the credits. First they meet. Then they hold hands. Then - woah, PG13 alert - they start to kiss. And finally, in a slightly sardonic turn of events, we see the girl smoking a cigarette while the boy sits, exhausted. What a nice way for the creators to slip in a little bit of science when you're least expecting it. 

What's that? You want one last, very appropriately timed gif? Well, ok. 

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