“One of my favorite title projects was an MTV comedy called Dead Man on Campus,” says title designer Karin Fong. “The film was an offbeat comedy involving college students who wanted to lure the most suicidal person on campus to live with them.”
“There were a lot of concepts on how to touch on this, but ultimately the sequence became a standardized test on suicide techniques. Adam Bluming and I worked with illustrator Wayne Coe to make those really generic diagrams. I’d always loved the titles for ‘Delicatessen’ where the credits are embedded within the scene as the camera explores the space. In ‘Dead Man on Campus’ the names are embedded into the exam, as multiple choice answers, or within textbook diagrams, so the viewer has that feeling of discovering the joke.”
“A side note to this project was that we also had a hand in determining the music, picking songs that had lyrics that ironically pulled out the humor. Being able to work with a film’s music supervisor or composer can be another way of strengthening the impact of the sequence.”
Read the complete interview with Karin Fong.
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About Karin Fong
Karin Fong is one of the most prolific and versatile title designers of the last three decades, often referred to as the “Saul Bass of her generation”. She’s a chameleon able to adapt to almost any style, often alluding to metaphorical or surrealist interpretations of the film or TV show’s narrative to great effect.
We met with Karin at Imaginary Forces in L.A. to discuss her Main Titles for Tell me a Story, Counterpart, South Park, Jack Ryan and Lost in Space.