Hello everyone! I've decided to revive my blog, and with a totally new direction. Being a huge fan of title sequences, I will be picking my favorites and analyzing them. I may do this for individual frames, or by analyzing the sequence as a whole. To kick it off, I am going to share with you a post that I made on my Medium page a while back. Reading through this so long after I wrote it has given me way better direction on where I want to take the future posts.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this archived post! Feel free to drop me a line with some feedback any time.
Originally posted: Aug 1, 2016 on Medium
Although at the moment, I’m sadly unable to purchase the Main Title Design course by Ash Thorp over at Learnsquared, I said to myself, “why not get a head start on the first homework assignment and just blog it?” I know that I need to write more so this will be a good reason to do so.
According to the Learnsquared course outline, the assignment is to “Analyze one (1) of your favorite title sequences. Capture six (6) key moments from the sequence which you find to be purposeful.”
Sounds easy enough so here we go.
Frame 1: Justice is Blind
Seeing as Daredevil (aka Matt Murdock) is not only blind due to a freak accident involving a traffic accident and toxic chemicals, but he’s also a lawyer. What better way to represent both Daredevil’s day-job and his super-power than with a gorgeous opening shot of Lady Justice? I found the blood revealing the statue to be symbolic of what’s to come in the show. This very first frame has me ready to experience a more mature comic book TV show. I simply love the composition of the frame, the typography is set low and center and let’s the stunning visual do the talking, yet it’s still typeset with some thought and care.
Frame 2: Crossing Over
I’ll be honest, I still don’t have a solid grasp on what Patrick Clair is trying to convey with this shot of the Brooklyn Bridge. It could mean many things—for example, it could be simply represent Daredevil’s stomping grounds but Hell’s Kitchen is pretty far Northwest of the Brooklyn Bridge and doesn’t really say “Hell’s Kitchen” to me. Still, to me it represents “New York”. It’s one of many iconic landmarks in the city, in fact one of the oldest, dating back to 1883. Sure, they could’ve gone with the Empire State Building (1930) or the Statue of Liberty but (1886) but I feel that the Brooklyn Bridge can symbolize more than just a location. Maybe in this case, it symbolizes Daredevil’s crossing over from just a guy trying to help out by fighting crime, to a guy that needs to do what it takes to stop a threat from an incredibly dangerous villain. The titles are once again set dead center but now they’re shifted to the top, nestled between the cables of the nearly century-and-a-half old suspension bridge.
Frame 3: A New Hell’s Kitchen
This shot does a great job of portraying the development and growth of (presumably) Hell’s Kitchen which is being orchestrated by the show’s antagonist, Wilson Fisk (known as the Kingpin in the comics). The tower cranes perched atop the growing skyscrapers represent growth, but I felt that the blood creating those skyscrapers represents the cost of that growth.
Frame 4: Let Heaven Witness
For those who don’t know, Daredevil is a devout Catholic, often going to Confession to unburden his sins to a Priest. This shot is framed so well and is possibly my favorite just behind the opening shot. The statue of the Angel, with her hand on her face makes me feel that she’s ashamed of something that someone has done—in this case Matt. How ironic is it that a man who is so close to God takes on the name God’s adversary?
Frame 5: Meet the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen
This shot is the first and only time we see of a character from the show in this entire sequence. While clearly not the actor (Charlie Cox), it is very clear who is being revealed—our hero, Daredevil. The way his face is angled downward gives me the feeling that he’s not entirely proud of what he’s doing or what he’s about to do. This could be simply because I’ve seen the show already.
Frame 6: The Closing Shot
Ok so this is a no-brainer. The closing shot is a key moment simply due to the fact that we’re presented with the name of the show/character, Daredevil. The title clearly let’s me know that this is a comic book TV show.
There it is! My first homework assignment complete. Heck I think this was my first “homework” assignment since college! That being said, I wanted to leave you guys with some bonus material. Here is a quick “making of” video for this sequence that shows how Patrick Clear and the Elastic team pulled off the blood animation(s) with RealFlow. If you’d like to know more about the sequence and its creators, check out the full article for the Daredevil Title Sequence over at Art of the Title.