Watch the Titles

Smokin’ Aces

Paul Donnellon, VooDooDog (2006)

An action thriller about a wannebe gangster who turns against the mob boss and makes a deal with the police in exchange for witness protection.


Title designer Paul Donnellon tells us why he changed his original title concept. “The original idea was to do something very modern and slick, we created 3-D bullett piercing playing cards in slow motion. But after seeing the movie though, we felt it would be better to hark back to the ‘Wild Bunch’ type 70s titles, so we went with that.”

“The film has that edgy 70s feel to it. Rather than use stills from the film we asked for the stills taken by the on set photographer, this gave us much more to work with in terms of angles and sequences of photos which we animated.
We made a simpler opening sequence, and then a two minute end sequence which lifts the movie as it has a down beat ending. For the degraded look we made some animated mattes rather than using a filter to give it a less digital feel.”

“The director Joe Carnahan was really relaxed with working with us in London – even though he was in Los Angeles – once he saw that we had clicked into his brain, when we sent him some test sequences. All our best title opportunities come from directors who appreciate our experimental approach and are up for trying things out, so its thanks to them that we get to do funky stuff, we are film buffs in VooDooDog, which helps when having initial discussions with directors.”

Smokin Aces main title sequence play pool

Year of production


About Paul Donnellon

Award winning London-based studio that specializes in animation and live action. VooDooDog was founded by Paul Donnellon and David Z. Obadiah in 2003. The studio has created a number of striking animated title sequences with a classic handcrafted feel for movies such as Love in the Time of Cholera, Smokin’ Aces and both Nanny McPhee movies. Senior Designer at VooDooDog is Andrew White.

More about Paul Donnellon

Full credits

Director (film)
Joe Carnahan
Paul Donnellon
Andrew White
Noel Donnellon and David Z Obadiah.

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