Best of Stash 2020: Title Design

While the explosion of scripted programming over the last five years has kept title design studios bustling, show opens have also emerged as an important showcase of choice for motion design passion projects.

The following seven films reflect these trends with three of the projects created by indie director/animators primarily as solo design exercises and another three produced for landmark television series by two studios at the top of the title design ecosystem: Elastic and Imaginary Forces.

All films were published in The Stash Permanent Collection during 2020 and are listed here in chronological order by the date of publication.

Included in STASH 139

Hazel Baird, co-creative director at Elastic in Santa Monica, CA: “Even though it appears like this sequence was easy to animate, it’s 2D, clean, doesn’t look like it would take too much time. But the reality is that figuring out what these scenes were was tricky plus they had to stand out.

“We needed to make sure the audience understood what we were trying to say even though they would have their own interpretation of those scenes. It was important they felt something.”

Included in STASH 139

Director G-Ryun Kim in Los Angeles: “The title sequence of Asymmetry is also the invitation to our online art exhibition that opened in June 2020.

“Asymmetry is about the story between the Real-world and Internet-world. I went back to the moment where I started computer graphics first and asked myself why I started it and I realized the reason is I want to make a masterpiece that gives special feelings and inspirations to many people.”

Included in STASH 140

Creative director Karin Fong at Imaginary Forces: “Talking with Joe Strechay, the show’s blindness consultant, was a really interesting part of this project. Because he lost his sight over a period of several years he’s got a foot in both the sighted and blind worlds.

“We decided from the beginning that the sound design would take the lead in telling the story. One of the first things we did was take the idea of echolocation and test what typography would look like in a dark void, revealed only where there was sound.”

Included in STASH 141

Alexey Dimkov, creative director at Dobro in Moscow: “The movie ‘Invasion’ is a Russian sci-fi blockbuster directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk released in 2020 – this prologue sequence tells us about the main moments of the previous film, ‘Attraction’.

“Our creative challenge was to achieve several goals at once: to remind the viewers of key events from the past, and to create a visual effects sequence that looks artistic and dynamic.”

Included in STASH 141

Director/animator Fabian Aerts in Belgium: “This was a personal project. I had wanted to create the opening credits of a TV show for a long time. So I made my own.

“We Were Young is based on an imaginary world where brutality is permanent. A strange virus has infected a large part of the population, and the Army has taken control of the country. A giant hunt, to root out the infected, is underway.”

Included in STASH 141

Director Karin Fong at Imaginary Forces: “The titles for Little Fires Everywhere delivers on the name itself as we indulged our inner pyromania. Shot in high speed, it’s a ballet of burning objects, tumbling, floating, and falling through frame.

“Based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling book, the Hulu series stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington as two mothers who ignite over differences in class and race in tony Shaker Heights. The drama that ensues gives new meaning to ‘burning down the house.'”

Included in STASH 143

Director/designer Fernando Lazzari in London: “Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Conversation [is a film that] revolves around a surveillance expert (Gene Hackman, as Harry Caul) and the moral dilemma he faces when his recordings reveal a potential murder.

“This is my tribute to a film. I took many licenses when depicting the period technology and elements used in the film, as my goal was to establish a contemporary point of view on a true classic, perhaps also working as a title sequence for an imaginary remake.”