Memorable scenes from the show accompanied by the cheesiest music the director could find (maybe it was a challenge for a prize?) and credits rolling and rolling and rolling, from the guy who stopped by the studio to fix the air conditioning to the producers. No, thank you. That’s not what a title sequence is, at least not since the 1980s.
A title sequence is the cover of the book in a visual, moving sense. It’s what gives you an idea of what you’re about to see, set the stage while being interesting itself; an important part of the production not just something you skip through.
I personally can’t be talking about title sequences without mentioning The Simpsons, for 26 glorious years and still kicking, the show has done a new “couch intro” every episode. The creativity that goes into working with something so limited: a shot of a couch, the back of a TV, a side table, a lamp and a crooked painting and five characters, is something to pause and ponder on.
Taking it a step further, French animator Yoann Hervo plays on the familiarity of the intro by remaking it in such a way that is the same but isn’t, activating those parts of our brains that really stopped thinking about the details of the clip we’ve seen more times than we can remember.
Such commentaries are thought provoking in how they sometimes are a “what if” questions. What if an intro to a CAMP festival wasn’t an energetic beat accompanied by b-rolls of mountain hiking and smiley people looking up at rainy skies with the words DO IT or GET OUT THERE or something that would make you drop your remote control and go running in the streets? This seems to be the tone of most of the them and they seem to work, so why not?
Instead, they did this:
If a title-sequence or introduction that can be missed is a waisted resource that can easily grab the viewer’s attention and convince them to start, and stay longer watching the production. The choice of music, typography and the progress of the sequence all play into how much value the makers think their work has.