A little more on the flamboyant title sequence I mentioned over Christmas from the movie, Catch Me If You Can. The opening title sequence was assembled by Nexus Productions out of London, who in turn, contracted a well-known pair of French animators and conceptual artists, Olivier Kuntzel and Florence Deygas. Kuntzel + Deygas are the creators behind the odd orange cow, Winney. Their work is also seen in several videos from the off-kilter pop sounds of Sparks.
For the L.A. Times, Jon Burlingame devotes Movie credits find new currency in retro images exclusively to the inspiration and background of Catch Me’s title sequence. The inspiration apparently came from the opening cartoon for The Pink Panther and Saul Bass’ sequence for North by Northwest. Heh, figures the late Mr. Bass is somewhere in the root of this one. John Williams’ composition for the background theme song pushed the animators even further. Once Williams delivered the music:
Spielberg pressed for a greater degree of integration between the letters in the titles and the images, “so that the sweep of a J becomes the offramp of a freeway, and a character will jump on a rope and slide down from one card into another and it’ll become the L of someone’s name…”
A great explanation of the slick transitions which grace the entire sequence. The article contains three screenshots from the real animation sequence. (Click on the thumbnails for larger images.) They do better justice to its cleverness than the screenshot from the official Flash site which I included in my original post. Thanks to Cameron Cavers for the tip on the French artists, which eventually led me to the Times’ article.
Update: Nexus Productions has the full title sequence up on their site, along with lots of other wonderful animation work, including many more pieces by Kuntzel + Deygas. Be warned though. Looking through the site can fill hours of your time. [Site requires Flash 6]