Treatment For “Title Sequence”.
Three graphic design firms compete to win the assignment of providing the title sequence to a new program, or to an old program with a new face.
The majestic and exciting title sequence of a favorite show is embedded in the American experience.
Star trek, All in the Family, the Dukes of Hazard, Thirty Something, Stranger Things, The X-Files. These things are somehow timeless. They didn’t so much set the mood, as they captured it. The title sequence music called everybody from around the house to the living room and there, in the warm two minutes, families congealed on sofas and pillows and floors and all of our faces were lit by the screen and there we all grew up, and if only for a few hours a week, we did it together.
Maybe that’s why the title sequence feels so emotional and so much a part of us, is that it was a networks handshake once a week. It was their hug. Their howdedo.
What an episode might look like.
The skeleton show of every episode of Title Sequence begins in a large conference room. There, will be briefed on a new show at the same time. They will be given the name, the graphic standards around it if there are any, and a question & answer period with the executive producers before they go off and create.
Then, each of three motion graphic/design firms or graphic artist will get an introduction piece. We stop at Shynola from London. The camera pans across the design team in the studio and then we go visit Duck Studios, introduce them, and then we stop at the in-home studio of the famous title designer Jack Cole. We sit with him and his wife and an assistant and his dog.
TS cameras travel around from firm to firm and tell the story of their idea.
The New Title Sequence show of the first episode.
Engine 80/Ladder 23 FDNY
So, this is the day to day story of one of the most historic fire departments in America: New York Fire Department Engine 80, Ladder 23. 123 men and women make it work in a week’s time. The Title Sequence must be no more than 120 seconds, and it has to be catchy and memorable. You can choose to tell some of the story of the department, gio back in history, or do whatever you think people will like
Then we spend a few minutes with each team and tell the story of their idea.
Shynola wants to a create a rousing musical sequence, accompanied by glowing outlines and figures of men and women rushing to and fro, getting into a fire engine, sliding down a pole, pointing a high-pressure hose, and driving the truck. Meanwhile the music builds to a crescendo which is a giant explosion and out of the explosion the truck rides by the viewer.
Duck Studios also chooses animation to bring the show alive and the difference really is that the music is secondary and the animation looks kind if cartoony, not unlike all their stuff.
Then we visit Jack Cole. He is famous for doing the Six Million Dollar Man, The Virginian, and Kolchak the Night Stalker. His idea is music driven, but it’s a frenetic series of film shots of firemen and women saving other people.
In the same conference room, each team introduces the designers and renderers, and they present their title sequence on a huge amphitheater-like projector and sound system. The presentations are full screen to the viewer. Each one shows actual reactions from the show producers and directors.
We might even have a live vote online that will be reflected in the show.
Then we present the second runner up, the first runner up and then, the winner.
The show becomes interesting when we stop and visit with the actual designers and see what they say and feel.
The designer might say: “I wanted to show firefighters, not graphic symbols representing firefighters, but the brave, smudged, tired firefighters….”
Or “we wanted to show the frantic emergency that the fire alarm becomes.”
Or, “we want this to tease people….”
Exhausted firefighters make for great visuals….and their quiet after a fire fight is itself quite emotional.
We may even watch someone save a life, or lose one.
The interest though must stay in the wins and losses of the artists.