Watch the Titles

About

Forget the Film, Watch the Titles! is a project dedicated to the art of title design and its creators. The website features a growing collection of title sequences from past and present; a series of short documentaries about title designers filmed in L.A., Barcelona, Paris, London and Amsterdam; and numerous in depth ‘making of’ articles that document the process of creating a title sequence from concept to final delivery.

A Little History

Forget the Film, Watch the Titles! started as a hobby.

I’ve always been fascinated by the opening titles of movies. I started to collect them way back in the days of VHS tapes. I’d record them from TV.

This vice started with the classics: Depatie and Freleng’s epic animated opening titles for The Pink Panther movie series, – incredibly creative and funny cartoons in their own right –, the always luxurious titles for James Bond by the likes of Kleinman or Binder, Saul Bass’ hugely influential Main Titles for Hitchcock, and of course, Lardani, who created the memorable pop art-inspired titles for Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns.

That old VHS collection was the main inspiration to create Forget the Film, Watch the Titles! at Submarine Channel. We launched in 2006 with the world’s first online resource dedicated exclusively to film title design. Our main goal was to celebrate the art of title design and to put the spotlight on the men and women who create these intricate and often overlooked pieces of cinema history.

We were a bit overwhelmed by the project’s success. The love and support we received from filmmakers, motion designers, VFX artists, animators, student and lovers of cinema from all corners of the world was incredibly heartwarming.

However, managing a site of this scale takes a lot of time and resources. We had to divide our time between many different projects and unfortunately the project was put on hold in 2014.

But we missed it. So, by popular demand, we’ve launched the initiative once more, new and improved!

Our goal hasn’t changed. Forget the Film, Watch the Titles! continues to explore the art of title design. We pay tribute to its rich history and we are very interested in what the future holds for this particular art.

A Big Thank You

A deep bow to everyone who made this project possible, including Femke Wolting and Bruno Felix of Submarine, all the designers and developers who worked on the different iterations of this website and my lovely co-authors and editors.

But most of all, I am eternally grateful to every single designer whose work is featured on the site. Thank you for allowing us to show your art and share your process with the rest of the world. Without you this project would not be possible.

Remco Vlaanderen, editor
Want to talk? Send me an email at remco at submarine dot nl.

You know what they say about first impressions…

Many title sequences are designed to be strictly informative and present the cast and crew. Others are created to give the audience a taste of what’s to come.

Some transcend their proper function to become landmarks of popular culture and cultural symbols of their time. Saul Bass’ Anatomy of a Murder, Iginio Lardani’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and Kyle Cooper’s title sequence for Se7en have all left an indelible mark on culture as a whole.

Spin-Off Projects

Playgrounds Vs Submarine Channel – A one-day event in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Playgrounds Festival (2011) featuring presentations by Kyle Cooper, Dvein, Onesize, and Buck.

Watch the Titles! on Tour – We compiled a one-hour screening program for cinemas featuring a selection of title sequences made between 2005 and 2010. The program toured cinemas in The Netherlands and was screened at festivals around the world, including Lowlands.

Watch the Titles! DVD – This two-DVD set featured 38 title sequences and 9 short documentaries about title designers working in L.A., London, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

Flux Screening Series – An event with live presentations by Kyle Cooper, Karin Fong, Garson Yu, Jamie Caliri and Danny Yount (2009) in The Hammer Museum in L.A. In collaboration with Flux.

Forget the Film, Watch the Titles at MU – An exhibition at the MU Gallery in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (Dec. 2009 – Jan. 2010). The show featured over 30 title sequences in five themed programs. And MU hosted an event with special guests, Nic Benns and Miki Kato of Momoco and others.

Cinema.nl – We blogged about title design regularly for this comprehensive Dutch online film resource.

About Submarine Channel

Watch the Titles! is a Submarine Channel project. Submarine Channel is an Emmy-winning interactive production studio based in Amsterdam.

We produce and create interactive documentaries, motion comics, virtual reality, and web series. We also host a series of 200+ video portraits about pioneering creatives (motion designers, animators, VFX artists, filmmakers, and designers) from all over the world. All projects can be viewed on our channel for free.

Submarine Channel is made possible with the financial support of Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie (The Creative Industries Fund NL) and AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).