Perhaps the strongest influence during my college design development was the work of Kyle Cooper. The first time I sat up and took notice of a title sequence as having a role of its own, was as a 17 year old Multimedia student. Back when we bought 3-5 DVD's and CD's at a time, from the likes of HMV or Music Zone (my favourite) Panic Room (David Fincher, 2002) had just been reIeased, I had just seen Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) for the first time and wanted to explore the world of David Fincher a little more.
Thats when the intro to Seven (David Fincher, 1995) changed everything for me. I loved design, I loved film but never until then did I think the two complemented each other in such a way. Gradually, I became more and more interested in the title sequences and trailers for feature films, than the films themselves.
I researched and found that Kyle Cooper had created the title sequence, then, little over a year later at the age of 18, I was blown away by the titles to a remake of one of my favourite classic horrors, Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004). Again, Kyle Cooper was responsible for this masterpiece. Two further trips to the cinema were needed to quench my thirst for this sequence, the tension, emotion, the timing of the cuts to Jonny Cash, the religious connotations that ran throughout the unknown cause of the virus/outbreak, not to mention setting up the story to follow on perfectly. Coopers titles don't just introduce the title, director etc, he captures the essence of the story and sets the tone for the audience to adequately receive the following two hours in the correct state.
Are these people Dead or Alive? We don't know
A few years passed and I explored everything from writing my own short and feature length scripts, shooting and editing my own short films and worked in entertainment TV. But nothing would inspire me to the same creative level, I wanted to feel something at the start of a film, I wanted to be seduced and dictated too by the artists. That's when AMC's The Walking Dead (Frank Darabont, 2010) hit our screens. Zombies, carnage families torn apart and a search to find out why and how to reverse the apocalypse. The opening scenes are quiet, slow and have us questioning everything, until Rick has to take the toughest action and shoot a Zombie child. This is when the titles kick in and the chilling music snaps us out of the short daze we have been sharing with Rick. The titles ramp us up to want more, they coax us into believing this world exists. Again, Kyle Cooper with a master class in merging video, graphics and typography.
The difference this time... I didn't have to pay to see it again or wait for the DVD, this is on nearly every week!