Not many TV title sequences have really caught my eye in the past few years, until around 6 weeks ago when the series ‘The Night Manager’ started. The trailers drew me in, in the first place, as they had the same theme as James Bond with international villains, spies and working in the shadows to help the British government. Sadly, the series ended a few weekends ago, but the titles have left an impression so I felt I would write a little post about them.
If you haven’t seen the series, I would definitely recommend it to you. I won’t tell you how it ends. It may be worth giving the titles a watch.
The first part I noticed was the way the titles used a form of transformation. The use of the weapons of mass destruction, that subtlety change to items and symbols of the rich. The wit that has been use to create and mix the two together has really helped to place the viewer in the mind set of the two coming hand in hand. The high life it represented with pearl necklaces, champagne and speed boats. These are all featured in the series as part of the characterisation of the villain and his henchmen. I found the use of this intriguing, as it is so different to many of the TV series on British TV, as they don’t always really aim do the same sorts of things as a film compared to TV.
Saul Bass said “My initial thoughts about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the film’s story, to express the story in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would already have an emotional resonance with it.” The titles for the Night Manager, held similarities to the James Bond films. Not only the way the objects and items that have been featured in the titles, but also the way that they have transformed items. One of the examples is Casino Royale, where the whole of the sequence is using the suits from a pack of cards to take the audience through a small story before the film. I know each week, the audience has to be drawn back into the TV series unlike a film, where they watch the whole of the story in one sitting.
Typographically, the styling of the names and the film title are very simply executed, they compliment the imagery used in the sequence. The use of San Serif typefaces allow for the audience to understand the contemporary re-telling of the story. The way they have been handled, allows them to mainly just inform the viewer of the people who are starring in the film.
I really like the way they have animated the sequence, the simple use of items to condition the audiences thinking allows the titles to stand. As a TV series, they don’t hold with the same type of styling as many that we see every week, but they have been able to make an impression on how the audience can see them and how they might see them in the future.
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