VCD302 #1

VCD302 #1

Both the title sequences for “Altered States’ and ‘The Dead Zone’ feature a technique used by title designer Richard Greenberg in much of his work. The secondary motion occurring on the screen appears as though the camera is panning out, with the type on the screen slowly becoming a lens for the imagery playing (Landekic, 2013). Whilst the title sequence for ‘Stranger Things’ does not feature imagery like ‘Altered States’ or ‘The Dead Zone’, a similarity can be seen in the secondary motion of the camera panning out to display the title at the end of the sequence. 

Temporal considerations can be seen across all three title sequences. The use of eerie, unsettling music and slow, sliding movements of type creates a feeling of suspense for the audience. The ‘Stranger Things’ title sequence works particularly well with the soundtrack, with the primary movement of type coinciding with the beat of the music. This was able to occur due to the soundtrack being set prior to the creation of the title sequence (Perkins & Landekic, 2016).

The title sequence for ‘Stranger Things’ is heavily influenced by film titles of the 1980s. Creative director Michelle Dougherty took inspiration from ‘Altered States’ and “The Dead Zone’, which were favourites of the creators of Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers. In regards to the typography of the title sequence, the typeface used is ‘Benguiat’ which directly references the typefaces found on the original covers of Stephen King novels such as ‘Carrie’ and ‘Needful Things’ (Perkins & Landekic, 2016). 

Image: https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/stranger-things/

Optically created motion design holds qualities that cannot be recreated in the digital age unless it is done on purpose. In the process of creating the title sequence for ‘Stranger Things’, Michelle Dougherty studied the imperfections that featured in title sequences created in the 80s. These imperfections include but are not limited to discolouration, flickering of lights and jagged movements (O’Falt, 2017). 

These characteristics can be seen through many projects created before digital motion design. It can be seen in the title sequence for ‘The Dead Zone’, where I noticed some of the “jumpiness” of type as it appeared on the screen. Michelle Doughtery wanted to recreate some of these features to enhance the retro feel of the ‘Stranger Things’ title sequence, so residual colour was added in places where the type on the screen fades up and down (O’Falt, 2017).

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