Title Sequences

A title sequence is a method in which films and television programs present key information, such as the title of the production and the names of cast members. Their main purpose is to let the audience know what show they are watching and grab their attention before the film/show actually begins. In a way, it can be described as the ‘Once upon a time’ of filmmaking that signifies that the story is about to unfold.

The title sequence sets the tone of the whole production and can establish the story before it officially begins, similar to a prologue. A title sequence can even provide background information on the plot.

The first title sequence that I’m going to be researching is, surprise surprise, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. The introducing shot of the title sequence is a long tracking shot moving a moderate pace backwards. It ends looking out towards the band at the end of the room from behind the silhouette of two other characters in the film. The song used is called ‘In the long run’ which matches the style of the introducing shot.

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After this shot and the title of the movie have been displayed, the cast members are shown one by one with still text and a moving colourful graphic behind each cast members name. What makes this title sequence memorable to me, is the attention to detail within the background graphics. At first glance, the graphics will seem random and irrelevant but in actual fact, each graphic is relevant to the cast members character. For example Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, whose graphic is 4 moving lines, which is because Scott Pilgrim plays the bass guitar.

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The cinematography of the initial shot follows the three-point lighting technique, but instead of the main light sources coming from behind the camera, it comes from in front of the camera. These light sources are meant to represent spotlights, as if the band are on stage instead of in their living room.

I believe the narrative in Scott Pilgrim is strongly targeted towards the 18-24 age group. Scott Pilgrim, a 22 year old’s experience with women, and life itself, is limited. However, he learns in the movie, and thus, the audience is presented with the opportunity to learn as well.

The next title sequence I would like to research into, is Juno. Juno’s title sequence is really interesting and has been memorable to me because it incorporates a mixture of standard filming, animations and photo illustrations. It begins with a short clip of Juno, the protagonist walking down a road with a bottle of Sunny D in her hand. Once she passes a tree in front of the camera, the style changes to photo illustration with an animated background.

I really like the use of different media in this title sequence, especially the photo illustrations. Essentially, hundreds of photos were taken of Juno in different positions, these photos were edited to look like illustrations and then printed out. I’ve never seen this method of animation before and I would love to give it a go sometime.

The lighting is fairly simple in this title sequence. The initial standard shooting shot most likely uses natural lighting along with a couple sources of artificial lighting to reduce shadows over the character. For the photographic illustrations, they would’ve used the three-point lighting technique in a studio.

Juno targets the youth market of 16-25 year olds, however arguably the animated style title sequence can appeal to anyone. The mise en scene helps the scene vary in its target audience capturing that the film can appeal to any type of audience. This differs from Scott Pilgrim, which seems to target a younger audience and while the older generation may enjoy the film, I imagine to most it feels tedious as there is not a single person over 30 represented in the film. Whereas, in Juno, even though the older generation aren’t going to relate to the protagonist, a 16 year old pregnant girl, they may be able to relate to her parents that are concerned about her.

I’m struggling to think about how I can creatively make a title sequence. My groups film shoot didn’t go as well as we’d have liked and only a couple scenic shots would be suitable to use as a title sequence. I would quite like to try out motion tracking and camera tracking on after effects, which I cannot do with the footage I have currently. Therefore, I have decided to go out and shoot some scenic footage that I can hopefully not only use in the title sequence but also in the film.

As the film will be a horror film, the target audience is likely to be within 16-25 as the older generation tend not to be interested in horror films and too young of an audience are likely not going to watch it due to their parents. The selling point will be the creative use of motion tracking and distinguishing the tone of the film before it begins through the use 0f lighting and sound.

 

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