Art of the Title

Art of the Title

HQ

The definitive industry publication for title sequence design in film, TV, and beyond.

Stories

Let there be lips! The unforgettable opening to a cult classic

As a stripped-down version of the Twentieth Century Fox theme plays, a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show begins. “And God said, Let there be lips!” And there were lips: red lips, white teeth, black background. An androgynous voice sings “Science fiction, double feature.” Between verses, the lips freeze in black and white before fading into a cross above a church.

See how the opening of 'The Silence of the Lambs' primes viewers for a dark odyssey

Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991) begins like a Gothic horror movie. With towering trees and a heaping dose of fog, Demme and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto convey a sense of haunting with their very first images. These touches evoke Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films of the 1960s like House of Usher (1960) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) which were exaggerated and experimental but precise due to their small budgets. Demme got his start making films for Corman (who has a small…

David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective

Perhaps no other living director has done as much for the art of the title sequence as David Fincher. The filmmaker’s work inarguably helped kickstart the title design renaissance of the 1990s, a revival that the medium still enjoys to this day.