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207/365 – Titles
© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. vertigo-title-screen

207/365 – Titles

Despite all the editing problems associated with getting my films ready for the Aperture series this weekend, I really do love the post process.  Although  have mile ADD, I can sit in front of a computer and play with a film for hours.  I think I could have been a great graphic artist and editor.  But, we all choose our paths.  I chose mine . . . prostitution.

My boss.

One of the coolest, most innovative areas of film post production is title sequence design.  When I had my short stint at film school at Loyola Marymount, a teacher told me, “You can get the feel, tone and the pretty much get the show movie from the first 5 minutes.”  I think this is absolutely true when it comes to title sequences.  Try it on for size . . . find any film (preferably contemporary) and watch the title sequence.  You’ll be surprised.  The perfect example, and the one that really changes the art and landscape of title design, is Se7en.  It;s one of the most brilliant pieces of art ever committed to celluloid.

Another brilliant title sequence that pretty much tells you the ending of the film (without spelling it out) is Fight Club.  WARNING: SPOILERS ahead . . . .

The sequence starts with these flashes of lightning while the camera pulls out from a mess of organic shapes.  As it continues, you realize you’re being pulled out of Edward Norton’s head . . . Tyler Durdin is both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton — so it’s all in the synapses and chemical processes of Edward Norton’s head that is where Brad Pitt resides . . and thus, this title sequence really spells it out for you.

Another great title sequence that sets up everything you would ever need to know about the world you’re about to enter is Watchmen:

Of course, brilliant title sequences are’t reserved for the modern era.  One of the most famous is from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  While it doesn’t tell the story it does give you the tone and feeling of the entire film in under 3 minutes.

The fact is, the creators of the title sequence must fill that minute and a half with all the emotion, story and tone from the entire film and fit it into 2-5 minutes.  It’s amazing.  I stumbled upon this little short detailing s few of these masters.  Enjoy.

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