“Alef” Main Titles by Ethem Cem and Ugur Baltepe
The Istanbul team of director/designer Ethem Cem and motion designer/art director Ugur Baltepe sharpen an ethereal, timeless tone into a sinister edge in these titles crafted in CG for the eight-part detective thriller “Alef”.
Ethem Cem: “We worked together with the art department on set to collect visual materials and photograph as many assets as we could to create an atmosphere in the titles that reflects the mood of the series.
“The visual language of the sequence was inspired by Istanbul’s Islamic and historical architecture. We combined that with the poor, run-down, and uncertain face of the city to create a dark, grunge, and mysterious feeling.
“Most of the assets we used were modeled in 3D or 3D-scanned from the set props. We also got a lot of documents from the police department set (papers, evidence, homicide props) to re-create in 3D.
“There are two different puzzles in the show. One happened a long time ago, the other one is still under investigation and they are connected somehow. So our approach was to make a sequence using traces of the whole script and create a new short story related to the series itself.
“When the audience watches the titles they can see hints from future episodes they haven’t watched yet. By doing that we aimed to create curiosity and prepare them for the next episodes.”