Saul Bass

I begin with a title sequence by Saul Bass. An icon of graphic and title design, Bass changed the way opening credits were done, creating title sequences that were mini movies of their own. His design for Otto Preminger’s Man with the Golden Arm in 1955 was the start of an illustrious career designing for Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg and others. Hitchcock’s Vertigo title sequence is considered one of the best ever. Bass’ last work was for Scorsese’s Casino.

I chose It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World for the inventive way typography was used.


Deadpool lampoons the whole superhero genre, and breaks the fourth wall with the main character talking to the audience.

The titles for Deadpool are really just a collection of place holders because the only one cast at the time was Ryan Reynolds (and Reynolds’ name is seen only on a magazine cover). It sets up the irreverent nature of the movie, poking fun at itself, skewering Hollywood’s self absorption and sense of self importance, with titles such as Starring God’s Perfect Idiot, Produced by Asshats, Directed by An Overpaid Tool, and of course Written by the Real Heros Here, the writers.

This clip is also a two-for-one as the graphics for Marvel at the beginning are good on their own, a montage of what seems like comic book pages turning quickly.

The Simpsons

Need I say more? The opening sequence, known as the Couch Gag, is classic and part of modern culture. You have to pay attention to the Simpsons because small things can pass you by, such as what Bart is writing on the blackboard, and various other commentaries along the way.

As of it’s 28th season September 2016, the series broadcast 609 episodes. That’s a lot of opening sequences, each different. The longest running prime time animated show and sit-com in history.

This is a brief collection of the first 5 seasons.

The Shining

This isn’t motion graphics, but I think it is one of the most beautiful and effective opening sequences, as director Stanley Kubrick combines remote unforgiving mountain landscape, a tiny (Bug!) car making it’s way along the highway, and music that hints at a destination of mystery and ghostly events waiting to happen. There’s nothing here that consoles, is comfortable, or holds your hand to help you feel better. You are on your own. Masterful.