On all of my previous films, I've created the titles myself. The process was about as rudementary as it gets, I just used Final Cut Pro's "Add Text" feature. I wanted to try something new and part of the fun of this project was reaching out and collaborating with people that I admired, so I asked Mike Dillon, my producer at EFilm, for advice.
Mike put me in touch with Dan Masciarelli at Method Design, a recent addition to Method Studios. Dan produced the titles for The Avengers, Captain America, and Cloud Atlas, so I was really excited to speak with him. With small projects like this one, you never know how committed large, established companies will be. Fortunately for me, Method was willing to give my little project the full feature treatment, and as a result I ended up with an end credit sequence that really lifts the piece as a whole to a new level.
Dropping off gelato for the hardworking Method team. Loved seeing the signed Tree of Life poster at reception!
The Method Design team for American Tintype: Kaya Thomas, Hee Bok Lee, and Mary Melendez.
When I was in Los Angeles to work on color correction, I was also stopping by Method to work with them on the titles. Kaya and Hee Bok came up with some great options, and from there we worked out a concept- essentially the end credits would visually mimic the process of a tintype developing.
Going over Kaya and Hee Bok's initial design ideas.
The title card background would be tintype plates immersed in a liquid like the "fixer" used to develop a tintype. The credits appear and disappear as more plates are developed. The color scheme would also move from a blueish black and white to a brown image, much like a tintype does during development, and ultimately "dry" at the end.
Filming the liquid elements.
Kaya and Hee Bok filmed liquid elements and then combined them with some After Effects work. Even though filming the liquid elements gave them more work to do in what little time they had, they did it anyway because they knew it would lend itself to a better result. I was impressed with their enthusiastic attitude- with small projects it can be difficult to find people willing to go out of their way to make something the best it can possibly be, but as you may have read from previous blog posts, I was lucky to have brilliantly talented collaborators throughout the post-production process.
Months have passed and I still can't get over how great the titles look. I hope I'm lucky enough to work with Method again in the future!