Marlene McCarty opening sequences
I Shot Andy Warhol
The music is marching, suspenseful. Red, thick type introduces the blood spill of a title, and it fits perfectly. Motion is very smooth and nothing feels unnatural. I felt surprised many times, and it was neat to see how McCarty treated type once movie clips were introduced. The typewriter typeface gives a police station, thick-ink ransom-letter vibe.
Blood red stains the type and brings an anxious feeling to the title—a pairing of opposites. The music gives tension and suspense. Shots lit by headlights are pretty creepy, making the opening of a community gate look oddly horrific. The type is quiet when it needs to be, and settles nicely into the garage when the driving couple make it back to their home. A deep, dark red seems to be an effective way to communicate.
I definitely noticed how the Dexter opening sequence was influenced by this one. Mysterious, red, jelly-like drops appear from the start, and only after a series of credits do we learn they’re drops of blood. Red splits the title, but soon, ketchup replaces the blood, and is seen served on plates. Dexter’s sequence shares the same concept, with chopping of meat, frying of flesh, etc. Creepy and intriguing.
Saul Bass opening sequences
North by Northwest
The sheared type fits in the perspective of a city block. Bass makes the text slide in and out, which reminds me of a crowded city street. He pairs the type with images of city folk walking around, and the music choice feels very lively, excited, and “bustling city”.
Bass cuts and slices the type like a serial killer. The music is unsettling and amplifies a feeling of tension, suspense, and horror. The side-to-side movement resembles the slashing of a knife. This was my favorite of the three because the type surprised me the most. Felt similar to North by Northwest with the sweeping on and off of text.
Small dots make up the type, just as individual lightbulbs make up the bright signs in Vegas. Chromatic scales add tension to the sequence, and feels showy with big band horns. Swirled motion and sliding piano notes felt really cool. I noticed how he toned down the whites in order to save the brightest for the type, or other points of specific interest like the eye on the slot machine.