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Start the Show: Amazing Main Titles

By Brett McKenzie on Sep 14, 2018

Eight great opening sequences that earned Pencils and Cubes


The beginning of a movie or a television show has to set the tone for everything that comes afterward. One Club and ADC Hall of Fame laureates Robert Brownjohn (From Russia With Love, Goldfinger) Saul Bass (Psycho, West Side Story, Goodfellas) and Bob Greenberg (Superman, Alien) have always known this, and this is why the art of the title sequence holds a special place in our hearts.

Both the ADC Annual Awards and The One Show have celebrated incredible title sequences for years, in their respective moving image and film craft categories. Today we are looking back at some of our faves, ones that kicked off their programs nicely, and finished with a Pencil or Cube.

 

1.

Title

The Alienist

Agency

Elastic / Santa Monica + TNT / Atlanta

Client

TNT

Annual ID

ADC_MOT18002G

Category

2018 Motion & Film Craft: Motion / Film / Title Sequences - Single

 

"In the 19th century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists."

This sets up the premise of the TNT television series The Alienist, and Santa Monica-based Elastic — a studio well known for its main titles prowess — captures the foreboding mood of the show. The Alienist won a Gold Cube for Title Sequences at the ADC 97th Annual Awards earlier this yaer.

 

2.

Title

Westworld

Agency

Elastic / Santa Monica

Client

HBO

Annual ID

ADC_MOT17001G

Category

2017 Motion: Motion / Title Sequences - Single

 

The Alienist wasn't Elastic's first taste of gold. When HBO transformed a classic 1970s sci-fi flick into a prestige TV series, they tapped Elastic to create a sequence that seemlessly blends Wild West imagery and far future tech in very unsettling ways. Westworld's main titles, directed by Patrick Clair, were nominated for an Emmy, but we'd like to think that an ADC 96th Annual Awards Gold Cube holds just as much weight.

3.

Title

The Crown

Agency

Elastic / Santa Monica

Client

Netflix

Annual ID

ADC_MOT17003B

Category

2017 Motion: Motion / Title Sequences - Single

 

Director Patrick Clair also worked his magic on another prestige drama, creating the titles for Netflix's historical drama The Crown. Queen Elizabeth herself would be pleased with the Bronze Cube Elastic won at the ADC 96th Annual Awards.

 

4.

Title

Spectacle of The Real

Agency

Buck / New York + Hulk Limbo Inc. / New York

Client

Hulk Limbo, Inc.

Annual ID

ADC_MOT17002S

Category

2017 Motion: Motion / Title Sequences - Single

 

When acclaimed illusionist David Blaine began working on a new special, he turned to our industry's own magicians at Buck to create a surreal and psychadelic opening sequence for Spectacle of the Real. The result? Buck conjured up a Gold Pencil for animation at the 2017 One Show, and a Silver Cube for Title Sequences at the ADC 96th.

 

5.

Title

MARS

Agency

National Geographic / New York + Framestore / London + RadicalMedia / New York + Imagine Entertainment / Beverley Hills

Client

National Geographic

Annual ID

OS_DE17236M

Category

2017 Design: Motion Graphics / Title Sequences

 

National Geographic combined science fiction with modern day science fact to create Mars,  Superstar production company Framestore brought their talents to this majestic title sequence, and was recognized for their efforts at the 2017 One Show. One small step for Framestore, one giant leap for main titles.

6.

Title

Title Sequence

Agency

Netflix/The Weinstein Group / Los Angeles

Client

Marco Polo

Annual ID

150810A

Category

2015 Design: Broadcast & Moving Image / Title Sequences

 

The show burned through money and the critics weren't too enamored, but if there's one good thing to be said about Netflix's historical drama Marco Polo — it's opening credits were marvelous. New York-based production company The Mill channeled the Far East with inky washes and scenes that were simultaneously beautiful and grim. The Mill soon traded in their ink brushes for a 2015 One Show Silver Pencil.

 

7.

Title

Manhunt

Agency

The Mill / Los Angeles + HBO Documentary Films / New York + A Passion Pictures & Motto Pictures Production / London

Client

HBO Documentary Films

Annual ID

141211D

Category

2014 Design: Broadcast and Moving Image / Title Sequences

 

On May 2, 2011, the worldwide search for notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden came to an end in a shootout in Pakistan. Two years later, HBO Films chronicled the events leading up to this day with the documentary Manhunt. The Mill built this maze of a title sequence, winng a 2014 One Show Pencil in the process.

 

8.

 

The One Club and the ADC Annual Awards are two of the most acclaimed adward shows in the advertising industry, so we thought it would be fitting to close off with the show that brought the ad industry to the real world. Mad Men was truly one of those shows that marked what they call the Golden Age of Television, and its now iconic opening credits won Imaginary Forces a Distinctive Merit (the 2008 equivalent of today's Bronze Cube) at the ADC 87th Annual Awards.

 

 

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