Dexter Title Sequence Re-Edit Evaluation
1) Summarise the conventions of title sequences that were most important to this task.
Titles in a sequence must contain the main people involved in making a programme/film and acting in it. It can often be a legal obligation due to contract terms with personnel in or behind the production to include them. The titles can either draw attention to something or a character, or blend into the background, but they usually convey or at least adhere to a certain theme, based on genre and/or narrative. In more modern sequences technology has allowed characters to actually interact with titles, or for them to cleverly blend into the environment - this was important and interesting to learn about but with the given time and our personal abilities it didn't really apply. The sequence itself should introduce the idea of what we may expect to see, or hint at it using enigma or visual metaphors (e.g. a violently made breakfast in Dexter). It should anchor the audience by giving them enough of a taste that they are gripped and wish to see more, not just be a filler to fulfill legal obligations. Any number of things can be presented to the audience, whether it be just the setting, main character/s, themes, or all of this.
2. How did your group plan to edit the title sequence? (consider timings, industry requirements etc.)
As a group we did not have a designated planning time, as we completed the task in the same lesson that we were introduced to it, however once in our editing groups we consulted on how we would edit. A brief discussion decided that each group member would create one title in turns and rotate across the three of us continually, to ensure equal input. After agreeing on a font, theme and colour scheme we began the practical side of the task.
3. Explain the creative decisions made by your group. Similar to the official title/logo itself it was quickly decided to use a, bold, blood-red for our titles. Blood was a key theme in the sequence, simple but powerful and very telling, so we complied with this. We added a shadow to the titles for a mysterious, enigmatic connotation, and for the same reasons, a fade in as each is introduced. Apart from this fade the titles had no movement, in order to not draw too much attention to them, as the visuals that are already present are particularly effective and important to the opening. Upon entry most titles appeared in the corners of the screen where they would be the clearest and overlap the least with movement in these images. One would not really have been able to do this, so on the ECU looking vertically down into coffee in the blender we centralised a title. It could have been simpler to just use a title elsewhere on another shot but our group liked the fact that it was a visual idea that could be played with back and forth in the mind of an audience - "is this representing a character in danger? Perhaps one in distress or tormented internally?" The font we chose was quite sinister and broken, adding to the conventions of genre and running parallel with some of the evident themes. We decided not to try and be too ambitious or complex with the titles; acknowledging time limitations our approach was simple but effective.
4. How does your re-edit compare to the original?
In terms of looking professional I believe our group's edit is surprisingly successful for the amount of time it took. The original obviously had more titles; this being the major difference due to time constraints, but the titles themselves wouldn't seem particularly out of place in the real sequence. The original has slightly animated titles, that provide a jumpy, edgy, fearful feel, however personally I don't find them particularly effective. What they are trying to do is very evident, and some of the shots jump in the same way but controversially I feel it makes it seem unprofessional, as if someone had made an error while editing. Some of the titles are even hidden because of the colours which draws unnecessary attention to focus on and read them, something we were successful in avoiding. Compared to the original I also prefer how our edit's titles stick to one size, another thing making them clearer and easier to read. Despite these criticisms I do like the way the original titles appear at all different points on the screen, connoting spontaneity and unpredictability, something our attempt failed to do. Overall I think that with more time and effort, our sequence's titles could be as effective if completed. But the fact that the original titles try to serve more of a purpose, despite being ambitious (and not to the standard of the excellent shots they accompany), is a better stance to take.