Title Sequence

Forrest Gump, by Wes Anderson.

What if Wes Anderson had directed “Forrest Gump”? First off it would have had a very different look. Then there is the possibility that the story would have been decidedly more quirky with a very different approach to the delivery of dialog.   is obviously a fan of Wes Anderson and has definitely  studdied his style of direction, composition, framing, timing and use of color. Taking all things Wes Anderson into account, he has created the opening titles for “Forrest Gump”, as though Anderson had directed the film. Now, I wish they would remake the movie and let Anderson direct it.

The MIll, “D&AD 2014 Title Sequence”.

Over the last two decades, the quality of desktop created 3D animation and CGI work has grown by leaps and bounds. The animation below was created by the Mill for D&AD’s opening title sequence. It was built in Cinema 4D, utilizing physics simulation and manual animation methods to achieve the working components of  the rube Goldberg Machines. Not only was it created using desktop software, it was done with a small crew of animators and editors, which is another tribute to just how far computer generated design has come in the last couple of decades. This is really nice work with solid editing, sound s=design and animated sequences tying it all together. For full details on the process of how this was made, click the link above.

Design & Animation Studio: Mill+
Executive Producer: Luke Colson
Producer: Oana Anghel
Design Director: Nils Kloth, Douglas Bowden
Senior Art Director: Douglas Bowden
3D Lead: Oliver Harris
3D Artist: Matt Whitewood
2D Artist: Nils Kloth
Audio Track: Angell Sound

Analogue/Digital BNE Opening Titles, Show Masterful After Effects Work.

For the Analogue/Digital BNE creative conference in Brisbane Australia, Breeder created a refined black and white sequence filled with sensual imagery, and a great black and white aesthetic. The two videos below show the final piece and the process breakdown of how the sequence was created.

The entire piece was built using After Effects, Mocha, and Photoshop. This is a testament to how powerful the puppet tool can be, especially when combined with other software like Mocha for tracking, and After Effects expressions. The end result is absolutely beautiful. For an interview with Breeder, and some really great screen captures of how this was made go to Watch The Titles.

Creative Direction: Joyce Ho
Producer: Adam Sebastian West
Cinematography: Chris Morris, Alex Gee, Adam Sebastian West
Editing: Alex Gee
Design Lead: Joyce Ho
Design: Alex Gee, Timothy Lovett, Jai Mitchell
Compositing: Chris Morris
Animation: Alex Gee, Joyce Ho, Grayson Huddart

A Fresh Approach for OFFF 2013’s Main Title Sequence.

The opening title sequence or main title feature that usually gets shown at a conference often becomes a showcase of abstraction and effects. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is nice to see something that takes it in a different direction.

The main title sequence for the 2013 OFFF conference does just that. Form creates a wonderful story that introduces all the speakers seamlessly weaving them into the narration and storyline. As you watch you’ll see how the names of all the speakers are merged with the memorabilia and souvenirs collected through out the narrators journeys. This title sequence is full of wonderful shots, great editing, and yes special effects. The kind of effects that don’t overpower, but enhance the storyline and help bring the piece to life.

For the entire backstory on this production click here.

Concept, direction and screenplay

Ashley Govers, Jurjen Versteeg and Wouter Keijzer

Wouter Keijzer

Color correction and visual effects
Jurjen Versteeg

Set design
Ashley Govers

Music and sound design
Ben Lukas Boysen

Cello Performed by
Cordula Grolle

Recorded by
Jochen Mader At Audionerve

Jan-Maarten Nachtegeller

Nick Smith

Caspari de Geus

Production year: 2013

The Movie Title Stills Collection.

I’m always on the look out for new websites of design inspiration, and today while looking for vintage 1940’s type styles I cam across The Movie Title Stills Collection.

The Movie Title Stills Collection is an amazing resource for movie titles and end frames that have been curated and collated by designer Christian Annyas. The collection ranges from the 1920’s to the present day, and can is organized by decade or by one of two specific categories ‘Western’ or ‘Film Noir’.

There is a ton of stuff to look through from classics, to more obscure titles. This is a great archive of type, design and illustration styles that spans almost 90 years.

Design Friday, Karin Fong.

One of my favorite TV commercials of the last ten years has been the “Get Real” spot for Herman Miller created by Imaginary Forces. The commercial is set to Charles Mingus’ “II BS”, and features a line that swerves and undulates through images of furnitures and the designers that created them. The ad concept is the amazing work of Karin Fong. What Fong does with this ad is where many designers fall short. Not satisfied with simply moving images and type on the screen, Fong takes it a step further, merging images, concept, motion and thought into a complete whole which has become a trademark of her design style over the last few years.

Fong is one of the founding members of Imaginary Forces, and a lead designer behind many of the last decades stand out movie title sequences and television commercials. One of the best ways to describe her work is “smart”. Her work focuses on concepts and storytelling that is complete and can be successfully compressed into less than 3 minutes of space. This design thinking constitutes the basic building blocks for her work, and can be seen in everything from the playful nature of the Dr. Seuss “Cat in the Hat” movie titles to the illustrative nature of the opening sequence for “Charlotte’s Web”. Fong is fascinated with how ideas develop and take shape over time, moving from an abstract concept to a tangible vision. The way letter forms become images, the way shapes and photographs magically transform into something new. According to Fong, concrete poetry at the turn of the last century and the work of the Dadaists and Surrealists are solid forms of inspiration, as well as Saul Steinberg’s drawings for The New Yorker, where there’s a playful straddling of the visual and the verbal.

Over the course of her career, Fong has maintained an interest in the fusion of design and ideas from the influence of many of her heroes like Joan Ganz Cooney, who founded the Children’s Television Workshop in 1968, which in turn produced Sesame Street, pushing television as a medium in a new direction, with a social purpose. What struck her about Cooney’s work was his ability to take a powerful idea and make it real, and in the process of doing so transform a cultural institution. Another strong influence on Fong’s work comes from Sheila de Bretteville, an artist and designer who joined the Yale faculty in 1990 as director of graduate studies in graphic design when Fong was attending school there. de Bretteville advocated strongly for the way a designers voice can influence the outcome of a project, and that designers shouldn’t be subsumed by their clients. She argued that student designers and professionals alike should adopt a strong voice, attitude, and clear point of view about their work and stand by it.

Fong embraced this idea after she graduated from Yale in 1994. She worked on a season of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? at WGBH in Boston, using an interactive alphabet book that she’d made as her senior thesis at Yale as a calling card to get the job. Her next stint was at R/Greenberg Associates, quickly picking up skills in the newly available Photoshop and Illustrator programs along the way and working with Kyle Cooper, whose level of dedication inspired a similarly focused attention in Fong. Although the transition to the computer—both for Fong and the industry as a whole—would radically shift the graphic design industry, Fong still insists on keeping one foot firmly planted in the material world, often working by hand before moving her work into the digital realm.

In her current work, writing well has become increasingly central. “I think it’s so important to have basic skills, just so you can articulate an idea,” says Fong. “But I really wish right now that I could write dialogue. There’s a way of triangulating from the page to the screen, and the more fluid you are with that transition, the better.”

I think one of the things that is so powerful about Fong’s work is the fact that it is at once situated in pop culture and advertising and yet feels smart and playful. The work doesn’t come off as dismissive, condescending, or overly commercial. Fong takes cues and influences from a long list of storied artist and designers and manifests it in a unique way for her own compelling work and vision. Less than fifteen years after graduating from Yale, she has made an indelible mark on the world of motion graphics and design and her influence will continue to be felt for decades to come.