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Post Feb. 14

Treat Yourself to A Double Feature

I love the movies. And even though the prices of today’s movies along with a tasty treat, salty snack and cold refreshment means eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all next week, I manage to find the time and budget to catch a flick every now and then. I still get excited, just like I did when I was a kid, anxiously awaiting the newest previews and wondering how the plot will spin. When I arrive at the theater, I scout for the perfect seat, not too close—not too far. I make sure that I have plenty of legroom, check my elbow space and if one of my buddies is with me a clear one-chair buffer is established (guy rule). The lights dim and the movie is about to begin. Shhhhh! The best part is about to start.

Now, up until a few years ago before I became a designer, there were two things I looked forward to most at the movies: the previews and the movie. And it seems that before I was a designer, I overlooked a very important movie-experiencing element. This element somehow seamlessly blends itself into a film, sets the pace and also carries with it aesthetic values and techniques that might not be carried through any other parts of the movie. An element so overlooked, it is slightly bested by the rolling end credits as the least important part of the movie. What am I talking about? The opening title sequence.

How often have you been greeted by inspiring or intense mini features that get you pumped for the action about to partake (300), or possibly an emotional rollercoaster of a love story that needs an equally love inspiring intro (Blue Valentine)? These artistic mini features launch and elevate the narrative flow of the film. By definition, a title sequence is the method by which cinematic films or television programs present their title, key production and cast members, or both, utilizing conceptual visuals and sound. Many of which, sadly go unnoticed. So, I am dedicating this article to those artists who take the title presentation to the next level by giving their work the credit it deserves. To the artists who can make a crappy movie just a little better (The Final Destination), to the artists who inspire that good will always triumph over evil (Zombieland) and to the artists who make us believe that glory lasts forever (The Mummy III: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)—for these I thank you.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Quantum of Solace 
You can find more title sequences and interviews with their artists at The Art of the Title Sequence and Watch the Titles.
comments  3
1146 days ago
watchmen is a great movie :)
1146 days ago
Good observation. Made me feel like I was right there in the theater waiting for the movie to start. You are right.about how we tend to want to get to the "beginning" of the actual movie but don't realize we were in it from the start. I'll pay more attention next time. See you at the movies!!
1144 days ago
1. I know for a fact you do not always obey the guy buffer rule. 2. Zombieland was a great movie.

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Justin Graham

Graphic Designer
Posts  3
“I’m quick to buy books with cool covers.”