Friday, August 29, 2014

Making a Parody: Need A Title Sequence

There are many factors that go into making a good parody, and one of the most overlooked aspects is the title sequence. Now, it might not seem that important but a good title sequence can make or break any production.

Take a look at the famous youtube channel, the Hillywood Show:

For quick introductions: the Hillywood show is a channel on youtube co-created by sisters Hannah and Hilly Hindi. They produce parodies of widely popular shows and movies, to the beat of re-mixed songs, dancing, singing, and acting as the original characters. Amazingly enough, they do it without a huge production crew and they've attracted the attention of many celebrities (like Lady Gaga and Psy). 

And the parody aside (how fantastic it may be), we need to give some props to the people who created that opening sequence. For any non-Whovians, Doctor Who is a British sci-fi series produced by the BBC that follows the Doctor as he travels across time and space with his many companions. It's one of the longest-running shows, dating back to 1963, but it's become a cult classic in recent years. 

Even if you only head of this show in passing, you've probably heard of the most iconic thing to this show: the Tardis. It's essentially the Doctor's "space ship" that he uses to propel himself where he needs to go (or where he happens to end up). Without getting too much into the logistics of the show, the important thing to take away is that the Tardis is iconic in more ways than one. 

And you can't have a cult classic without an anthem, but this one is slightly more unique.:

As you can see, it has no lyrics but that doesn't take away from the feel of the show at all. If anything, it sets up an almost invigoration vibe. It's as if we too have joined the Doctor on his quest through time and space. And the animation of this sequence is legendary. Although it has changed throughout the years, the concept remains. Swirling stars and galaxies whiz by, as the Tardis comes spinning too and fro. It's a journey and it's one that should be appreciated.

And getting back to the Hillywood show, they have people and users like Tom Dicker and Thomasjt017 to recreate their titles just like the original. It may not seem like much, but it really sets up the parody to be something great because it's familiar. For all those fans who passionately sing along to the BBC's version, they have something to look forward to in the Hillywood's one. As "the Hillywood Show" dances in-line where "Matt Smith's" name would be, viewers from both communities find something of equal purchase.

And that's why opening sequences matter. Because animation means something. It's iconic in the most subtle of way, especially in live-action shows. It sets up the atmosphere and it pulls us along for the journey. Some may say it even grabs our hands and tells us to "run."

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