Title Sequence

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For our title sequences we have a choice of 5 genres, each with a corresponding topic:

  1. Documentary – the changing world.
  2. Horror – home alone
  3. Melodrama – the breakdown
  4. Comedy – family sitcom
  5. Thriller – spies/spooks

I decided on the horror genre. My initial inspiration for the title sequence was from episode 15 of the first season of tv show Charmed. Titled, Is There a Woogy in the House?, the episode begins with an earthquake unearthing a shadow demon in the basement of the three sister witches’ home. The shadow demon is based loosely around the childhood myth of the Boogeyman. As a child the character Phoebe had a speech impediment and couldn’t say the word Boogeyman so the myth was dubbed the Woogyman by the sisters. The Woogyman attempts to possess all three sisters and ultimately take over the house which was built in the middle of a magically powerful spiritual nexus. One way the producers depicted the Woogyman gaining control of the house was to gradually turn a picture of the sister’s late grandmother upside-down.

A potential idea for my title sequence was to have the camera leading the viewer into a house from the outside, through the basement door and up into the house, eventually leading up the stairway to the upper level of the house. Whilst travelling upstairs I would have picture frames turning upside down along the way and the text from the title sequence appearing next to them.

This shot from the movie The Conjuring has inspired the first shot of my title sequence. Though I’m aiming for a very dark colour scheme for the shadow to fit into, the layout of this shot is what I’m aiming for. The movie Sinister is centered around a Boogeyman character. I really enjoyed the element of the main character discovering clues and parts of the story hidden in old photographs.

Discovering that the story of a Boogeyman monster is present in most cultures, I was very set in my decision to base my title sequence around this, even more so when I learned that the Boogeyman has no specific appearance and varies between cultures, making it perfect for creative interpretation. A few examples of the Boogeyman in different cultures are:

  • Babau – eastern Mediterranean countries, portrayed as a tall man dressed in a heavy black coat with a hood or a hat hiding his face
  • Buhmann or the Butzemann – Germany, an inhuman creature which hides in dark corners and carries children away
  • Baubus – Lithuania, an evil spirit depicted with wrinkly fingers, long arms and red eyes who plagues people by pulling their hair or causing them to have difficulty breathing.

I have decided on a shadowy mass for the theme for my Boogeyman character. In doing this, the character will have no definitive form. I believe it will add a more sinister element to it as well as having the benefit of not focusing on or singling out one culture in particular.

The title sequence for the movie Seven is one of my favourites, and the style of text used is similar to what I have imagined for my title sequence. I love the overlay of different fonts to create a disorientated feel to it and the white and red against a black backdrop is typical of horror movies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k2gsEI34CE 

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For the basement scene of my title sequence, I decided to have a shot of a flickering lightbulb with text/actors names appearing in the glow cast upon the wall. Eventually the lightbulb would blow out and lead on to a shot of the Boogeyman character slithering upstairs into the main house. To create this, I modelled a lightbulb in Maya and emphasised the glow and flicker in After Effects.

Below are some screenshots of various stages of the production of my title sequence.

The flickering text was created in After Effects using a combination of the scratchy film effect, glow and the Mister Horse plug-in. For the smokey effect on the title, I used a few layers of Fractal Noise with different opacity and colour levels.

Here is the final product, I used music from Purple Planet:

Thanks for watching.
Yahni 🙂