Shadow of the Vampire. Directed by: Elias Merige

The brief was for a five minute animated title sequence. Keeping with the period and to reflect elements and styles 
from the artistic movements of the time. It was to be mysterious and abstract. The images had to be original artworks 
especially created for the main tiles.

Above: one of the main title illustrations from the title sequence.

This was the most creatively ambitious project in my career and would develop into a very close relationship with
 director Elias Merigh. The development time for the initial concept was ten days. Before full creative production could 
start a series of video tests had to be approved in the States by Saturn Films. Storyboarding was also an essential part of creating the sequence of illustrations as they mixed in transition. My fellow graphic designer Matthew Symonds contributed to the storyboarding and was also responsible for the typographic style of the lettering. Apart form the creative challenge, each stage in the development of the title sequence required a 'rough cut' for Saturn
 Films approval. Each edit was rendered out overnight on our G4 Macs. (Quicktime file format, then transferred via our
 Targa 2000 pro card to VHS video). Compositing the sequence was achieved with Adobe After Effects version 3 - at this time - 1999, the 'new technology' 
for pre-vis (before the full optical assembly of film).

Above: selected stills from the title sequence.

Early on in the first weeks of production I had, together with the team at Cine image pushed for a full digital effects 
composition. This would enable us to build into the 'transition' of each master illustration the subtle 'shimmering' light 
effect I conceived in our video tests.

Above: the background illustration for the main title.

Time and cost ruled this out. Finally an optical composite together with a series of 'banded' light motifs achieved our 
aims. These separate 'motifs' were digital effects on film very cleverly optically mixed in the final result. The titles and optical effects were produced at Cine image film Opticals.

Above: establishing the style for the title sequence. Close in detail from one of the panoramas.
Below: pencil sketch and pen and ink line art before tonal final.