Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Anatomy Of Film: Opening Title Sequence

As most movie lovers know right now, the horror flick The Cabin In The Woods [2012] is getting plenty of rave reviews, and deservedly so too. Most people will tell you that's its best to go watch it knowing as little as possible. So trust me when I say what I'm going to write after this contains NO SPOILERS at all. I just wanted to mention its opening title sequence. But if you consider even that a spoiler (trust me it isn't), skip this paragraph and proceed to the next. The movie starts with us seeing etchings in CG blood of some sort of a ritual. Then we cut to a couple of middle-aged office workers discussing something about their work. Then suddenly, wham! We see the title "THE CABIN IN THE WOODS" splashed on our screen in blood red and block caps.

That title display was extremely simple but effective. Quite frankly I love good opening credits whether in film or TV. It has to be said though, TV series nowadays have made it even simpler and having less impact, a recent example being the show LOST [2004-2010]. It just had a floating title. A good opening credits/title sequence on the other hand can be seen in Zombieland [2009] or TV series Mad Men [2007- ] which are shown in the photos at the top. A good title sequence helps builds the anticipation for the audience at the beginning of the film, before they've even seen anything about the movie. The most iconic, perhaps, is for Star Wars [1977].

This following video is titled "The Art Of Film & TV Title Design" and I find it very interesting indeed. It was created by the show Offbook by PBS. I don't get the show nor the PBS channel in my country but I have been following their Youtube channel for quite some time now and must say that they have some very seductive programs. I haven't seen the film Blue Valentine [2010] yet, but just by seeing its title sequence which is featured in the video have made me very interested to give it a go now. The video also pays homage to a legend in this particular field, Saul Bass who've worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese amongst others.

So, what is your favourite opening title sequence? Just at the top my head for movies would be Zombieland [2009], but for TV series it just has to be The Simpsons [1989- ]. Its amazing to think that they come up with a different one for every episode. And they're currently in their 25th season!


  1. dudeeee this is uncanny ... god honest truth I was planning to write about title sequence like few post down the line..and when I come in here I was shocked to see that ur writing bout it...ehehe maybe I'll hold off writing bout this la, mebbe next year

    p/s : I also wanted to mention LOST..fuh uncanny I tell ya.

  2. Great post! My all time favorite TV opening titles are from True Blood, and when it comes to the movie - it's a tough call, but probably Se7en and Sin City.

  3. Yeah is probably the best ever! Loved Zombieland too. From TV, the ones from Six Feet Under and Dexter are cool. Also love Fincher's others, particularly Fight Club and Panic Room. Loved the reamke of Dawn of the Dead's one too. Great post!

  4. @Reza: just go ahead and write it. There's no problem with the topic. It's like a movie review. Same movie, but written from someone else's perspective.

    @Sati: Yeah, I forgot about Sin City. That was pretty good too.

    @Pete: Fincher's film does have good opening sequences. Influenced by his music video background perhaps.

  5. Really Cool Post. I like the one for Blue Valentine and Zombieland. I can't beleive I missed it on my post about favorite title sequences.

  6. Thanks Vern. I thought the 10 you picked were all very cool too.


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