Watch the Titles event L.A. Was a Blast
With five superstar title designers presenting together for the first time, we can safely boast that the Flux/Forget the Film, Watch the Titles event at the Hammer Museum in L.A. was nothing short of legendary.
More than 500 people attended – too many to fit in the beautiful Billy Wilder theater that seats 299. Everyone else had to watch the presentations on the big screen in Hammer’s outdoor courtyard. Not so bad either, considering L.A.’s lovely Spring weather. And with a cool party to top things off, we can now look back with a big happy smile at an event that will continue to resonate as we will post video interviews with all five designers and impressions from the event on watchthetitles.com. Click read more below for reports and link to photos.
Our review is below
Flux’ report, by Courtney Taniguchi, or
Evil Monito magazine‘s raving review
Danny is a great presenter. You sort of get to know him a little, as he seamlessly blends professional stories with funny personal anecdotes such as old snapshots from his mom, who used to be an avid photographer. His now retired dad spends his days making these super detailed models of famous movie buildings, such as the infamous Psycho House. It’s a joy just to hear Danny speak about his work. Among other things, he showed some of the artwork, animation experiments and logo animations he created for his fabulous RocknRolla main title sequence.
Great to have Karin Fong present at the event – the only designer who’s not currently working in the L.A. Area, but in New York at Imaginary Forces’ NY offices. Karin showed several sketches from the Pink Panther 2 title sequence she directed. She treated the audience to never before seen storyboard ideas for funny Pink Panther gags that didn’t make it into the final main title. And we got an exclusive preview of the amazing main title sequence for Terminator Salvation, which opened the day after the event in the US. Karin also spoke about the technology that inspired “machine vision,” – special sequences in the movie that visualize how cyborgs see the world.
Jamie Caliri showed his Lemony Snicket’s title sequence. Not the version we know, but one with the soundtrack he originally animated to. Personally, I liked this version even better. To see this main title on the big screen again made me realize how exceptional it is, in all its multi-layered textural splendor. Caliri – who talked a lot and very fast – also showed a live action short he directed and a great animated short story on glorious 35mm.
Garson Yu started his presentation by stating that it’s irrelevant to make the distinction between art and title sequence design. He then treated the audience to an art history ‘lecture’, featuring still images of historic and contemporary art works by the likes of Dürer, van Eyck, Cezanne and Beuys. Quite unexpected, but very refreshing! Yu talked about how he draws inspiration from all these great works of art. He showed his main title for Desperate Housewives that contains references to famous classic paintings. Yu ended with a reel of main titles designed by yU+co.
The last presenter of the evening. And not necessarily because we wanted to save the best for last, but because Cooper had promised to take his little girl to the final live show of American Idol. Cooper prepared an interactive presentation specially for this event. This ‘matrix’, as he called it, visualized the connections between all projects he’s ever done and the people he’s worked with over the years and seemed to include a lot of visual material. Brilliant! As Cooper intuitively browsed the matrix, he talked about some of the reappearing themes in his work, such as the use of extreme close-ups. Cooper philosophized quite a bit about his fascination for Gods imperfect universe, a subject that lies at the core of the personal obsessions and themes he’s explored in his work throughout the years. He showed Michael Riley’s/Imaginary Forces’ Gattaca and his simple but super effective main title for Wimbledon, adding that “it doesn’t always have to be about blood and eyeballs”. Stephen O. Frankfurt’s sublime main title for To Kill A Mockingbird, Cooper explained, served as a great inspiration to his own work.
That was it! Five inspirational talks. The evening concluded with a party at Hammer’s courtyard!
More Forget the Film, Watch the Title events are coming up in the near future. In Europe this time. We’re talking to partners and looking for sponsors for that as we speak.
Thanks everyone one for making this event happen: first and foremost the designers of course, Jonathan and Megg Wells and everyone else at Flux, The Hammer Museum, and you, the audience.