Mad Men - Title Sequence - (2007) :30 (USA)
The title sequence and promo package was the work of Imaginary Forces directors Mark Gardner and Steve Fuller. It was executive produced for the studio by Maribeth Phillips and produced by Cara McKenney.
According to IF’s Gardner, the challenge the studio faced in this project was to connect a 1960s period TV series with today’s audiences. "We approached the opening title sequence like a live action film title project instead of a purely animated piece," he explains.
"The disciplined use of camera angles, combined with sophisticated graphics, achieves an insight into the main character’s subconscious and the precarious duality of his “boy’s club’ career juxtaposed against his perfect nuclear family," Gardner continues. "It’s as if he’s created this monster, really. The character of Don Draper is a conflicted, tortured soul.
"The action of falling past endless skyscraper walls creates a claustrophobia and helplessness," adds IF director Steve Fuller, "which is abruptly cut short by his composed, reclining pose."
Weiner described that closing shot as reflecting a tremendous sense of confidence, while also being mysterious. As for the character’s free-fall from the office suite, past the skyscrapers bedecked with advertising imagery, Weiner explains, "It captures the story of the show—that of a character who’s calm on the outside and in free-fall on the inside."
Both Weiner and series producer Scott Hornbacher were impressed by the way the IF team managed to incorporate thirty different on-screen credits in the span of the thirty-second show opening. Weiner says he expressly did not want any titles to appear over the program content, as he was striving for a more cinematic feel to the opening title sequence. "A lot of studios might have just thrown type up on the screen, but this solution left everyone feeling that the cinematic feel of the opening was preserved."
Geoffrey Whelan, V.P., Brand Creative Director for AMC, says the closing image of the title sequence has not only become the branding device for the show, but has also been the image used in its print advertising and key art. "It’s an iconic image that pays off on every level," Whelan says. "This felt like the best creative choice for us at AMC."
Production Company: Imaginary Forces (IF)
IF Directors: Mark Gardner, Steve Fuller
IF Executive Producer: Maribeth Phillips
IF Producer: Cara McKenney
IF Coordinator: Michele Watkins
IF Designers: Jeremy Cox, Joey Salim
IF Animators: Fabian Tejada, Jason Goodman, Jeremy Cox, Jordan Sariego
IF Editor: Caleb Woods
Editorial Company: Encore Hollywood
Music Composer: RJD2 "A Beautiful Mine"
Promo Package Client: AMC
V.P., Brand Creative Director: Geoffrey Whelan
V.P., Production and Packaging: Mary Conlon
Sr. Writer-Producer, On-Air Promos: Casimir Nozkowski
Production Company: U.R.O.K. Productions
Director: Alan Taylor
Executive Producer: Matthew Weiner
Producer: Scott Hornbacher,
Post Producer: Todd London
Editor: Malcolm Jamieson
Lionsgate Director of Post Production: Bobby Williams
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