Not just the “who,” but the “why” as well.
A title sequence has one job: state the name of the movie. That’s it, and it’s a simple-enough task, but as film has evolved so too has the title sequence, to the point it is now considered an art form all its own. A sequence can be straightforward, it can be abstract, kinetic or potential, teasing or withholding, but all are charged these days with relating more than just the title, but rather the tone and atmosphere of the film, and to a degree its visual aesthetic. Think about the quick-cutting, vibrant colors of the title sequence to A Clockwork Orange and how they mirror the violent whims of young Alex; or the tour inside a brain that features in the Fight Club title sequence as foreshadowing of the film’s big twist; or the most famous title sequences of all, those of the James Bond movies, which capture the elegance, intrigue, and sophistication of the franchise.
[WATCH] THE TITLE DESIGN OF SAUL BASS: A COMPILATION OF PERFECTION FROM THE ART OF THE TITLE
Bottom line, there’s a lot that rides on a title sequence, it is the audience’s first engagement with a film and as such it has the power to establish in their minds an emotional tone, the visual scope and –scape, and narrative expectations.
In the latest countdown from the fine folks at CineFix, the ten best titles sequences of all-time have been ranked and dissected to determine just why they’re so effective and successful. There are selections from the films of Gaspar Noe, Steven Spielberg, Orson Welles, and ‐ of course ‐ the Bond franchise. It’s another effort from CineFix that educates as well as entertains, and a compelling look at the past, present, and future of title design. Give it a play then sound off in the comments or on Twitter your favorite sequences.
Related Topics: Filmmaking