Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles
Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles


Perri: GOOD TITLE DESIGN
SHOULD BE EVOCATIVE, IT SHOULD EVOKE EMOTION
FROM THE VIEWER. IT SHOULD REFER TO THE STORY, ALL THE CHARACTERS,
ALL THE SETTING, AND ALMOST INCIDENTALLY,
INTRODUCE THE TITLES AND IT CAN DO
A LOT MORE THAN THAT. I FELL IN LOVE WITH LETTERS WHEN I WAS ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD AND I STARTED SIGN PAINTING. I HAD A TERRIFIC
LITTLE BUSINESS AT IT WHILE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. I WAS PAINTING SIGNS
FOR SUPERMARKETS AND, YOU KNOW, DOING
“POTATOES — 49 CENTS A POUND,” AND THEN I STARTED DOING
MORE SHOW-CARD GRAPHICS FOR RESTAURANTS. I LEARNED ABOUT SAUL BASS
WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. I LEARNED THAT SAUL’S OFFICE
WAS RIGHT HERE IN L.A. SO I SOUGHT HIM OUT, AND I BEGAN KIND OF
ALMOST STALKING HIM. EVENTUALLY, HE SAW ME,
AND HE STARTED ENCOURAGING ME. AND HE BECAME MY MENTOR. I STARTED DOING
DOCUMENTARY TELEVISION SHOWS. AND THEN, ONCE I GOT
A FEW SAMPLES ON FILM, I COULD SHOW FEATURE PRODUCERS. “THE EXORCIST” WAS MY BIG BREAK,
AND, ALONG WITH THAT, FRIEDKIN FAVORED ME. AND HE ASKED WARNER BROS.
IF THEY WOULD ALLOW ME TO DESIGN THE ADS. I FIRST CONSULTED THE FILM AND PULLED A LOT OF FRAMES
OUT OF THE FILM. AND I DID POSTERS
IN SIX LANGUAGES AND T-SHIRTS AND ALL KINDS
OF COLLATERAL DESIGN WORK. SO I BECAME KNOWN
FOR DOING GRAPHIC DESIGN, TOO, WHICH, OF COURSE, IS
WHERE I CAME FROM. I’M USUALLY BROUGHT IN
AND ENGAGED BY THE DIRECTOR. AS A TITLE DESIGNER,
YOU’RE PRESENTED WITH A LIST OF CREDITS
THAT HAVE TO BE ON THE FILM AND IN A CERTAIN ORDER
USUALLY — PERCENTAGES
OF HOW BIG THE TITLES MUST BE RELATIVE TO THE MAIN TITLE. AN ACTOR HAS TO BE
50% OF THE TITTLE, THEN HOWEVER BIG
THE TITLE IS, YOU MEASURE — YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO MEASURE. I’LL SEE THE FILM,
AND I’LL JUST KIND OF FEEL AND VISUALIZE CERTAIN
TYPE TREATMENTS IN MY HEAD. I KNOW HUNDREDS
AND HUNDREDS OF TYPE STYLES, MOSTLY BY NAME,
BUT BY THEIR CHARACTER, THEIR SHAPE OF LETTERS,
AND SO ON. FONTS THAT ARE BIG
AND BOLD ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN SOMETHING THAT IS GRACEFUL AND THIN AND SOFT-EDGED. OKAY, THIS IS MY STUDIO.
THIS IS WHERE I DO ALL MY WORK. WELL, HERE I DO SKETCHES
AND THINGS ON PAPER, SO I’LL OFTEN CREATE
THESE THINGS BY HAND AS A SKETCH JUST TO ILLUSTRATE
WHAT I HAVE IN MIND. EVENTUALLY,
I’LL COME UP WITH SOME IDEAS THAT ARE COMPREHENSIVE ENOUGH
AND FORMED ENOUGH THAT I CAN BRING THEM
TO THE DIRECTOR. THIS, FOR EXAMPLE,
ARE ALTERNATE DESIGNS THAT I SHOWED TO GEORGE LUCAS. AND THIS IS EXACTLY
HOW I BROUGHT IT TO HIM. AND IT’S USUALLY THE ONE
THAT IT CAME TO ME ORGANICALLY FROM MY EXPERIENCE
WATCHING THE MOVIE. I’LL USUALLY WORK ON A FILM
FOR TWO OR THREE MONTHS ON AVERAGE. THERE HAVE BEEN OCCASIONS
WHERE I WORKED WELL OVER A YEAR. WHEN I WAS DOING
“DAYS OF HEAVEN” WITH TERRY MALICK, IT WAS A SERIES
OF STILL PICTURES THAT DISSOLVED
FROM ONE TO THE OTHER. BUT IF YOU WANTED
TO CHANGE ONE OF THEM, YOU HAD TO SHOOT
THE WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN. SO WE SHOT IT PROBABLY 30 TIMES. PRIOR TO THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION, I USED LITERALLY A PEN
AND PENCIL AND PAPER. DIGITALLY ALL THAT’S STILL DONE,
BUT JUST IN A DIFFERENT WAY, BUT YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR TOOLS. THAT’S THE SECRET. HOW BIG WILL IT BE?
WHAT COLOR WILL IT BE? WILL IT BE OUTLINED?
WILL IT HAVE A SHADOW? THOSE DECISIONS ARE SMALL
IN THEMSELVES, BUT COLLECTIVELY
THEY MAKE AN IMPACT. WHEN I DID SCORSESE’S FILM
“AFTER HOURS,” IT WAS THIS WILD, CRAZY NIGHT THAT YOU FOLLOWED
THIS CHARACTER AROUND. THE WAY HE SHOT IT
AND CUT IT WAS VERY, VERY RAPID, SO I SHOT A TITLE
THAT WAS JUST SIMPLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCREEN, BUT THEY CAME
FOR A VERY SHORT TIME, SO YOU HAD TO READ THEM
AND KEEP UP WITH THEM AND BY THE TIME IT WAS OVER, YOUR HEART WAS BEATING
AT THE RIGHT PACE SO THAT YOU COULD
KEEP TRACK OF THE STORY. MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAID, “I SOMETIMES CAN’T
TELL THAT YOU DID IT, BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS
JUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT,” WHEREAS A LOT OF OTHER DESIGNERS
I, LIKE, HAVE COMPETED WITH HAVE A STYLE THAT’S SO SPECIFIC,
PEOPLE CAN ALWAYS TELL. “I KNOW WHO IT IS.” WONDERFUL DESIGN IS FINE, BUT IF IT CAN BE RELEVANT
TO THE MOVIE AND SOLVE THE PROBLEMS THAT
THE DESIGNER IS TRYING TO SOLVE, THAT’S THE BEST CHALLENGE, IS TO BE ABLE
TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

58 thoughts on “Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles”

  1. ReelReviewDude says:

    "Terry Mallick"

  2. BluCheeseStudios says:

    It's amazing how much work goes into something that you barely notice

  3. Jeff Komarow says:

    Awesome!! I love the alternate star wars design.

  4. Chronox5 says:

    0:21 I bet it was fun making that particular title card.

  5. Spook says:

    Master Craftsmen

  6. Trophy Husbands says:

    2 to 3 Months, Wow, I under appreciated titles big time.

  7. Harumph, or Who's been rubbing your lamp? says:

    i love big tittles, you know, right in your face… but sometimes i prefer smaller tittles

  8. NeWx89 says:

    This applies to Steam Greenlight. If the image, which often has the title in it look good it probably is a well made game. This is how I found Scorn for example. I would never have pressed it if it looked ugly or dumb like most things do there.

  9. Stella North Media says:

    Very cool! Film is such a beautiful and complicated process!

  10. wonderpulp says:

    this is awesome. i could easily watch a full length documentary on this guy

  11. Thomas Overbeck says:

    I'd like to get his opinion on the trend of shifting all the credits – even the title – to the end of the film. Do some filmmakers feel the credits are cluttering up or interfering with the cinematography?

    (Just a little pet peeve of mine. I'd like to see at least the film title at the beginning, or have it be the first thing I see after the movie's over. I'm sure he would, too, since sometimes half the theatregoers have already left by the time the title shows up on the screen.)

  12. David Volpov says:

    So why don't the Oscars hand out awards for title design?

  13. PictureProductStudio says:

    I always loved watching titles and credits (and it breaks my heart when people ignore both of them) and yet I somehow failed to notice that some of my personal favorite title sequences were designed by this legend of a man. What is great is that it seems that Dan Perri always designs titles and credits regardless of a current status of a filmmaker, doing both "genre" and "big" movies – he designed marvelous main title sequence for a lesser-known independent film "Curdled", for example. One of the best title designers ever.

  14. Jose Contreras says:

    I agree with his notion that having one style as a designer is not the one and only way to do it. Especially for the kind of job he does and the age we live in, people get bored of the same stuff fast.

  15. T Will says:

    Whoah never saw that version of star wars logo, awesome!

  16. Kyle Culver says:

    Shoot, I wanted to hear more. Worst part was when it finished.

  17. Keshaw Gajadin says:

    I really hope this guy is paid a good amount for his stunning design work. He deserves it.

  18. CompanyFilms says:

    Really cool!

  19. Jentel says:

    Thank you, for making the star wars opening titles! 😀

  20. Scott Paton Levin says:

    I never even thought that something so small in a film could make such a huge difference, this dude is extremely talented.

  21. Angelus Nielson says:

    What a voice, too

  22. Daisy Cleary says:

    It's so beautiful how people find their passions, different people and different personalities work together to find and explore what they love to create something even more beautiful -if that's even possible. One of the many amazing things about life, I believe

  23. Ruairidh Creez says:

    Great to see the man responsible for the Star Wars title design. He achieved immortality.

  24. Lance Charles says:

    This is why Graphics Matters. Wow so well explained.

  25. Tricky Piston says:

    Very insightful
    <3

  26. Chip Houghton says:

    Wonderful insight into Dan's process and ongoing career – what an amazing talent. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Scroer Uee says:

    His workis amazing. I won't say he's talented because that wouldn't do justice to how hard he has been working. It's practice. Btw just imagine how much those star wars drafts are worth lol

  28. Malik Hansen says:

    How about giving him a challenge, try to make an awesome title by using comic sans.

  29. Guada S says:

    I'm so convinced that the movie industry is my passion

  30. Moments with Molly says:

    I'm loving these little mini documentaries on different film roles! so many overlooked positions filled with such dedication and art!

  31. U S E R says:

    cool stuff.. interesting

  32. natalia berron says:

    Genius

  33. Matthew Stubstad says:

    Very cool and insightful

  34. sbtopjosh says:

    Unsung hero

  35. the electric souls says:

    cool

  36. ChrisBowen says:

    Very interesting. I too wish there was more documentaries out there to shed more light on it. My brother is a sign painter and I can pick out his work almost 100% of the time.

  37. Naima Rahman says:

    This whole channel is like a Digital Dictionary, for a Media Student, who is studying Art, who the Film Industry creates for their audience!

  38. Harsh Hudda says:

    Whats the soundtrack at 0:21?

  39. Rodrigo Mendes says:

    Dan Perri …great legend!

  40. esotericVideos says:

    They spend 2 seconds on alternate title cards for star wars?!? I could watch 20 minutes about them alone GO BACK AND INTERVIEW THIS GUY AND GET ALL THE EXAMPLES.

  41. Joseph V M says:

    3:16 anyone felt the music as Isolated System – Muse ?

  42. William Houchins says:

    music on 0:02 ???

  43. The Place For Things says:

    DAMN, WISH HE WAS MY GRANDPA

  44. MovieTitles says:

    I've created a playlist featuring Dan Perri's best known title sequences:
    Taxi Driver (1976), All the President's Men (1976), Star Wars (1977), Raging Bull (1980), Airplane! (1980)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmjjk4_kl3c&list=PLRvO-XFZ2nu7gE4YqT0p8q1hDK1lZC3Sz&t=10s&index=1

    A visual timeline of his career: https://bit.ly/PerriTitles

  45. s4ndwichMakeR says:

    The title is a bit misleading. It’s not a making-of but more like a portrait of Mr. Perri. I expected an insight into using optical banks and superimposing titles on celluloid film. But it’s well done still.

  46. BursaDesain says:

    good content, thank you

  47. jkunblade says:

    Woo, lefty!

  48. hatae minseok says:

    you're so amazing

  49. Dan Perri says:

    Thank you for all the kind words about my work! If you'd like to learn more about my work on Star Wars, Raging Bull, The Exorcist or the other films I've worked on, I'm currently raising money to publish a book about my life and career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnT2FrmYRq0

  50. FILMANDGAMES says:

    I have create a 007 fan Design.
    And loved this in fiöms

  51. malartsny says:

    Fantastic. I always check for the title design, though in film school, it never came up as a topic. When it's done well, title design is like an "on ramp" to the experience, and just as memorable as parts of the movie. Kudos Dan Perri!

  52. SVR82 2019 says:

    I love his cool and amazing design signtitles. To the moviemaking.

  53. Fred Wucher says:

    For those that are not cinematically motivated, title designs and sequences that go along with them are very integral part of the film. Saul Bass, Robert Brownjohn, And Maurice Binder Are three prime examples of title designers in the whole film industry, and when Alfred Hitchcock was a younger man when he broke into showbiz, he also started out as a title designer during the days of silent film, long before he became known as one of the worlds greatest directors of all time.

  54. Ahmed Elshiekh says:

    More like Typography

  55. Daniel Moorefield says:

    This is awesome.

  56. Iyori T says:

    Wonderful work 👍

  57. Chrissy Stewart says:

    🎬🎬🎬🎬🎥🎥🎥 How do film titles are design who can I communicate with? Where to start , & how to design film titles I need to know , & where's the place to do it

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