In this unit, we had been learning all about the style of Saul Bass that has been commonly used in film title sequences since it was introduced by Saul Bass himself. The tutor showed us a few movie posters that Saul Bass had designed in his time. The tutor had showed us a few film title sequences inspired by Saul Bass’s style as well. We had been set tasks to design and create concept artwork for a title sequence of a film of our own choice before putting the entire sequence together. I had selected Jaws as the choice.
Our Tutor had alerted us to make sure we make our coursework, related to Saul Bass, resemble his style as close as we can. There are main themes that we had to keep in mind when creating ideas and developing them in Saul Bass style had common themes which we had to keep in mind when we designed out own concept art for our chosen film which was that:
- They were geometric in shape
- There was contrast between colours
- There was a use of minimalism (which is a separate art style on its’ own)
- There would be bright colours being used
Saul Bass research
To understand the style of Saul Bass and how it has influenced other works, I had to search images of works inspired by Saul Bass. This helped me understand how I could create the Saul Bass style for my own work. I have looked at how other people have used the style to create symbolism in their own work to present what the film is mainly about. Each had their own essence and mood to express the atmosphere for the following films as well. That’s what I want to create in my own title sequence for Jaws.
Our tutor also wanted us to create a mood board containing pictures that we think would best represent what film each of us were doing. I researched images that would relate to the film. I included themes for the film such the man-eating shark, the main trio hunting down creature etc. I picked these images because when I think of Jaws, sharks, the beach and the sea would come up in my head. These images are useful for ideas on how I could represent the film.
I had plans for my storyboard to fit in each of these in my final, even though not all of these elements may be included. I plan to include Jaws (the shark) for the main theme. Some pictures that I had put in there may not even be relevant later as I progress further in my ideas, improving them and taking them on further.
Above is the set of examples of posters and other artwork inspired by Saul Bass. We had to gather up a bunch of posters we could find to take a look at how the Saul Bass style was used to create the image that we see. It was useful to see how they can symbolism to hint to the viewer what happens in the film/novel/series.
What I liked about the title sequence
This title sequence had all the settings and elements that the original cartoon had. They introduced the main hero, the main villain as quick. They didn’t make the intro too long, but short and simple. I liked the transitions through each of the scenes from the city landscape to the main character to show the what the character’s like and what he does. The fact that there was a sequence made of this made me interested in looking. I only noticed in the suggestions whilst I was looking through other clips of related content and when I saw this.
In most of the title sequences, there were details and opening credits involving the actors and the director as well as seeing the shape and form of the font that tells us that it’s Saul Bass inspired. Each of us had to pick potential fonts to use for our film title using a website called dafont.com. We needed to pick and download at least 20 fonts. We had to pick out fonts that resembled or just looked close to Saul Bass style.
I only collected 15 fonts for my title due to poor time management, indecisiveness and struggling with using the iMac. There were lots of nice fonts that I wanted to use for the title, but I had to stay on the objective of using the font that would be similar to the style that we were meant to use. The few fonts I selected were chosen because I wanted a font that would suit the theme of the film, but in the end, I didn’t feel that these fonts would fit the style of Saul Bass.
The only font out of all the choices that I thought would be fitting in comparison to all the other fonts would be ‘Gayacos Primaria Bastarda’. It was geometric as font from Saul Bass’s work had been.
Before we researched fonts, the tutor wanted us to sketch, draw and colour in markers and colouring pencils the title that we could have used. I had made a few designs on the first two sheets. I tried to create title designs that would seem fitting and also gave the same idea of what the film is about. Most of these designs contain Jaws for the theme which should give people the main idea when looking at the title design.
We soon had to create a few more designs. I looked at the previous designs, examined them and noticed what I would be able change and develop. I did a lot better on making the new version than the older designs when I could take a look at my older designs and see what I could do better.
These are my new designs developed from the previous two from the older designs. I altered the designs from the original before and decided to make some changes which I thought would make the designs look better. I still used black marker to make them because I wanted the title logo to be in black. I liked these designs better than the older designs made traditionally on A3 paper.
Ideas and Development
For my storyboard (with the help of my mood board) I doodled some drawings to help me decide what elements I wanted to add in for my storyboard. I had begun to rethink at how I would like to make objects in my title sequence appear. I still included the shark, the boat that Brody, Hooper and Quint ride to hunt the shark down. I have changed what I wanted to do with some of these elements and how I will use them in my storyboard.
From the sketches I made, I created 6 (I only made about 5) A3 sheets of five different designs from the doodles that I made to be Illustrated in Illustrator. I had experimented with different shapes, colours, sizes and angles in making the designs in Illustrator. The aim of this experiment was to take a look on the differences of the same object that I could use to put in the title sequence.
This was an earlier image of an earlier concept involving Jaws that I wanted to do at first, but left at the end to change the design of the human shape I made in these earlier designs to look more human and at the same time keep it at close as I can to the original style.
My tutor advised me to leave this page unfinished to change the way I drew the human body in Saul Bass style. The new style is in the bottom image. It was done to keep it recognisable when other people see the storyboard.
Some of these designs that I put in illustrator were ideas that I wanted to put in for the storyboard.
For some of them, I haven’t done much to do with developing different designs when I decided to leave out some of these items for the storyboard. I felt that objects like a scuba tank being included would give away too much of the plot of the film.
This is rough design of my storyboard giving off the rough idea of what I want my sequence to look like. I didn’t even to colour in the rest of the images from wanting to move on when I would have fallen behind. I have taken some pictures that I had developed originally and put in it some of the frames of my storyboard. Even though I haven’t finished the rest of the storyboard, the final storyboard will contain all of the finished content that’s produced (or what I believe is finished).
I thought that I should add this before the main title sequence begins. After looking at other title sequences and when I made the final storyboard with all the three pages together, I realised that all the other title sequences had included the productions involved with the film that they made. It was made separately out of delay. I didn’t expect to leave out anything when I was sure that I completed all the other pages.
The first four panels have been changed to add more detail in the panels. In the end, I put in the digital font as opposed to the hand drawn font that I made for the title to begin with. The hand drawn designs seemed further off of the Saul Bass style, whereas the digital font was more accurate. I coloured the background red to show danger.
I had included more detail for the shark panel where you get a close-up shot of the shark’s teeth stained with human blood. I thought that this would be good to show that the shark has been responsible for the mutilated deaths of other people in the film. The boats’ design was changed to be more simplified.
Most of these panels had originally been blank when I made the rough storyboard.
We looked at the topic of horror posters that had been created and how horror has been portrayed and exploited well in posters created for the purpose of engaging the viewers into watching the film, playing the game etc. We had taken a look at different posters that our tutor had shown us and he explained to us how each poster displayed in front of us had been effective in tone, mood and contrast through the limited use of imagery and using dark colours to display the dark and gritty atmosphere horror movie posters tend to give out. Our tutor showed us this to help us with our own horror posters that we will be making as a task.
Horror Posters Research
For our research, we had to search six to twelve posters of different horror films and write and brief comment for each image on why we had found them to be effective to convince you to watch the film and what we thought about the poster, commenting about the poster and it’s use of imagery and tone as well.
I had collected a series of posters. The first page contained official posters seen by the public eye. The second page has horror posters inspired from Saul Bass. I had scrolled through google images, searching through images of horror posters I believed were clever, well-made in delivering the vibe and message through the images displayed on the poster and how they can hint themes of the film just from one glance at the poster as well.
For some understanding and more development of how we’re going to make the horror posters for our chosen films/TV series, we had to research images for any key themes that relate to it e.g. Items, Clothing, Characters, Location, Mood, Tone etc. We had to make three mood boards for each film we had chosen. I could imagine it was much easier to do than to make six mood boards for one film.
My first three mood boards for ‘Meat grinder’
For the Meat Grinder Film, it wasn’t very difficult to gather such disturbing and gory elements that the film itself already already contained from kitchen utensils such as an actual meat grinder commonly used in some households for making minced meat and also including the common element of horror which is cannibalism. As well as getting the settings of the location in Bangkok, Thai and bridges. This film is better suited for a gritty textures for a vibe of Disturbia and eeriness that the film itself portrays.
My second three mood boards for ‘Another’
Finding elements for the horror anime ‘Another’ was a little more difficult, since I had to look for different elements related to the anime such as dolls, death, decay, school and tokyo as it is an anime set on Tokyo. From researching for this moodboard, it was interesting how ordinary objects such as dolls can be twisted and turned into something dark and twisted. I also had taken a look at how I can put some of these images into good use for symbolism on my final horror poster. Just like the ‘Meat Grinder’, I thought that it would suitable to put in the dark and gritty textures for conveying the atmosphere required.
I researched different pieces of artwork for each chosen film/TV show that I had selected. I got to look at several different art online by different people with their own take on how they represent the film/TV show in there own image and at the same time keep the same idea recognisable. We were allowed to look at any images that relate to the film/TV show. This was helpful as inspiration for my own concept ideas to be created eventually. However, as most them contain the characters which has motivated me into creating designs that will hopefully be different from most of these currents posters I found.
For ideas of what font we would be able to use for our final poster, I searched for different types of fonts that we have found from different websites e.g. dafont.com. From researching, i have found many interesting as well as fonts that are just too plain for me to use on a horror poster. We needed at least fifteen to twenty types of fonts on our title. In my case, I needed that rough amount of fonts for two of my choices Meat Grinder (film) and Another (anime). Getting the fonts in Illustrator wasn’t very difficult as they were lots of results from searching for horror theme.
Top three favourites
I selected fonts that I felt would deliver that gritty, cringing feeling that a horror film should deliver to the audience. I felt that each of these fonts from their gritty, scratchy look would be good for delivering the horror factor for my horror posters and possibly fitting in fonts that have a saul bass vibe to them.
Before creating our final posters, we had to create concept sketches for each film/TV series of our choice. I had used my mood board research as a reference and inspiration for some of my sketches that I had designed.
These were some early concept designs I made for the posters originally. Unlike the rest of the designs, these were procrastinated from artists block. I wanted to doodle from my imagination for hopes of inspiration for what I want my final designs to look like.
For Meat Grinder, I wanted to try and create and make a design that would give off hints as too what the film is about without giving the plot away. Many of these designs for Meat Grinder and Another were inspired from the mood boards that I had made from the beginning of this task when we had to research.
These few designs weren’t too difficult to create for expressing the common, but effective themes involved in the film.
At times, I did struggle with creating designs for Another as the main themes to do with the horror anime is mainly death and gore, but I wanted to include elements of the anime along with themes that I had spotted in the anime to represent the anime in the horror poster.
I had trouble making designs that convey the anime well, let alone find other themes I could use to link to the anime in horror aspect.
Finished Horror Posters (sketched and digitally coloured)
From the help of my previous designs to influence my final designs for each film/TV show, I had been making my final horror posters, starting from the basic sketches, reminding me what the final designs should look like.
For my final sketch, I wanted to put in an element of the horror anime in a subtle manner, but also be effective as well. I thought that the doll would be a useful to put into this poser as it is theme in the anime and is associated with the main female character as well.
More my ‘Another’ poster, I had selected different shades of blue combined with the selected texture from my mood boards to contrast with he red coloured font that I had use which is a fairly common colour scheme to use in horror posters. I also thought that the ‘xhorrorx’ font in my poster would be suitable for horror poster, giving the edged letters giving off the ‘Saul Bass’ vibe as well as the illustration created.
My original final sketch for Meat Grinder. I had put more analysis on the sketch to consider what sort of colours I wanted to put in for the coloured version of my horror poster. For this sketch, I had more time to sketch and label my design before illustrating it on Adobe Illustrator.
This was the first design of my ‘Meat Grinder’ poster that had been done in illustrator. The font was in the font ‘face your fears’.
I added textures for more depth in the poster, since I wasn’t pleased with the first poster.