Captain America: Civil War, Main On End Titles

I'm excited to share our most recent collaboration with Marvel Studios… The main on end for "Captain America: Civil War." 

Inspired by a pivotal scene in the film, the main-on-end titles explore a cracking and breaking concrete environment. Appearing immediately after the film's final scene fades to black, viewers see a debris-laden surface where the first titles are revealed, strongly lit from five angles with spotlights. In this initial frame, even the stones and other objects cast long, dramatic shadows. But in the subtlest of poignant design surprises, when the second title appears, notice that the shadows cast by the words have taken on a life of their own, assuming forms that are easily recognized by fans of Marvel and Captain America.

This was a particularly challenging project for us as it was one of our first endeavors into both photo real CG and feature film visual effects. Look for our design and compositing work in a scene where our heroes receive a particularly sobering message from a familiar face!

Captain America, VFX scene

This was an interesting project for Erin and her team as it was one of their first endeavors into traditional feature film visual effects. In the past they have just done stand alone main title sequences. This change of pace was an amazing opportunity for her and her team. 

 

It gave them the opportunity to do interface design and compositing work in a scene where our heroes receive a particularly sobering message!
 

At it’s core the assignment was to brand the United Nations within the Marvel Universe. After the look and feel was established they had to make sure the visuals matched the narrative of the scene and supplied any additional information the directors were looking to convey with visuals alone. 

 

After the design and animations were complete they had to composite them into the plates that were supplied by Marvel.

Animal Kingdom, Main Titles

Erin was thrilled when John Wells and Jonathan Lisco reached out to talk about their new series, Animal Kingdom. As she began discussions, they asked her and her team to look beyond the surface of the show. It’s more than just a complicated family drama… And they described how the humor, the Oedipal complex underlying their relationships, the complexity of each of the individual characters and the tension, love and codependency they all share impacts all aspects of the characters’ lives. 

In addition to focusing on the complexity of the show’s relationships, she was excited to hear that, like Shameless, they wanted to produce a 60 second sequence and for it to become an iconic representation of the series.

When she came in to create the main title and Atticus Ross was enlisted to do the music. His track is a masterful representation of tone of the series and is a great contrast for our visuals. 

As a result, the piece created explores the indelibleness of the family’s relationships, using the tattooing process (which Ellen Barkin’s character undergoes on the show) as a metaphor. In between those tattooing scenes, they flash imagery that relates to the boys’ childhood and their transition to fully realized men. The resulting juxtaposition explores themes that you wouldn't expect to see in the same place, blurring the lines between childhood emotions, adult sexuality and endorphin-educing activities.

CenturyLink Prism, "Endless Couch"

Erin is s happy to be continuing to work with her friends at CentruyLink. Their latest series of spots is a real testiment to the team at Arnold being willing to have a lot of fun with the creative. They had a lot of information to pack into these retail spots, but did so in a way that takes it to the next level.

 

GM Capital One "Power" :60

MRM / McCann Detroit came to Erin with another fun live action spot! This one features a couple racking up CapitalOne points to help them save money toward purchasing a new GM car. To highlight their journey and emphasize their savings, she and her team developed a new flipping technique. That technique allowed them to maximize the live action setups and tell more of the story in a shorter period of time. 

The result is a fun spot that not only shows off the perks of shopping with GM’s BuyPower Card… It also shows how effortless and seamlessly a credit card can fit into your life.

In addition to the live action production, which was directed by Erin, the team at Sarofsky handled editorial, graphics and finishing. This is a terrific example where the director having a heavy hand in the animation and finishing can both streamline the process and maintain its creative vision from beginning to end.

Ant-Man - Main On End Titles

We’re so thrilled to announce another exciting collaboration with the team at Marvel Studios… This time around, we developed and produced the main-on-end titles for Ant-Man, directed by the talented Peyton Reed.

One of our favorite aspects of the film was how they switched scale quite seamlessly. So we used that as the motivation behind our title treatment. 

Once we developed the scale concept, we created a look that was totally new and unique in the Marvel Universe. We drew inspiration from the production design surrounding the Pym Particles, which are contained in a glowing, beautiful red liquid. Our solution allowed us to both connect visually to the film without feeling like just another scene in the movie and depict the macro and micro worlds in the same visual language.

CapitalOne GM BuyPower Card

McCann Detroit came to us with a fun, live action spot named "selfies" that features a young couple racking up CapitalOne points to help them save money toward purchasing a new GM car. Along their journey, we incorporate social media inspired graphics to highlight both their personalities and their purchases. The result is a lighthearted spot that shows off the perks of shopping with GM’s BuyPower card.

It’s a rare thing to have two Fortune 500 companies to please with one spot… Luckily, both sets of clients were a delight to work with and the process was smooth. In addition to the live action production, we at Sarofsky handled editorial, graphics and finishing... Soup to nuts!

Girl Rising

Oscar nominated filmmaker Richard Robbins came to Erin to discuss his latest documentary, Girl Rising.

This film journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change a girl - and the world. Girl Rising consists of nine different girls' stories of how education factored into their life circumstances. Each girl was paired with a female writer from her own country, and then her story was filmed and narrated. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez and other acclaimed actors contribute voice performances to the film, which also features original music from Academy Award winner Rachel Portman and Grammy Award winner Lorne Balfe.

Robbins’ approach to the film created a unique challenge: how do we create an open and interstitials that add a depth of knowledge and global context, as well as maintain the flow of the movie? That's where Sarofsky helped. After lengthy discussions and numerous script revisions, Erin and her team developed a series of scenarios that feature a group of girls, who present important statistical information in both a playful and filmic way. Combining our visuals, Robbins’ writing and Liam Neeson’s voiceover made for not only a beautiful piece, but also an effective way to weave the different stories together.

In the end, Sarofsky is proud to be a part of a project that delivers a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and you will Change the World.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Continuing my relationship with Marvel Studios, Sarofsky just wrapped some title work for Guardians of the Galaxy. We were excited not only to work with the Marvel team again, but also to meet and collaborate with James Gunn, a talented director whose work I appreciate and totally admire.

I was especially excited about the opportunity to create a custom typeface for this movie… Something that is rarely done these days and a total treat to have the time and resources to do.

I hope everyone sees the film. It is truly a great movie... You have the Marvel experience, as well as some good laughs and an amazing soundtrack!

OFFF Mexico 2015 Main Titles

Entitled "One Fabulous Fucking Filter," the 2-minute animated piece is a hypnotizing visual encyclopedia of styles and treatments involving virtually every production approach. The title both pokes fun at the filterization of our beloved medium and also inspires us with a loving look back at some iconic styles that came before us.

Erin Sarofsky and Duarte Elvas had the privilege of presenting and speaking about these titles at the OFFF Mexico 2015 conference. It was a true honor to be invited and to participate!

The masterful custom score is courtesy of Paul Riggio of Groove Guild.

And our amazing clients who lets us do whatever we wanted:
OFFF Global Festival Director: Héctor Ayuso
OFFF Mexico Artistic Director: Josué Ibáñez

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Since way back in 2009, we've worked on a few projects with two of our favorite people, directors Joe & Anthony Russo. So when we found out we'd have the opportunity to pitch on their latest project, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we were absolutely thrilled. Many months later we are excited to finally share the results.

Art of the Title did a very comprehensive case study. Check it out here!

Absolut Electrik

 As we all know Absolut has a very iconic bottle that is always featured in their campaigns and this spot is no different.

Sid Lee asked the team at Sarofsky to develop a look for and produce a set of 10-second commercials that showcase Absolut’s limited edition Electrik packaging. This spot highlights the Electrik blue packaging.

We took advantage of every frame of the ten seconds by creating a narrative that builds suspense, has tons of drama and ultimately takes us to a stunning bottle shot. #turntonightelectrik

Budweiser "Brewed the Hard Way"

We’re big fans of beer here at Sarofsky, so we were excited when Anomaly approached us for the title design work on one of Budweiser’s latest spots… And we were even more excited when we found out it would be premiering during the Super Bowl!

Working with the agency and the talented folks at Union Editorial, we established a type treatment that helps carry the narrative and deliver the visual impact of this bold spot.

#PumpkinPeachAle
#BrewedTheHardWay
#ThisBudsForYou

The Divide

he creators of The Divide approached us with an interesting challenge for a title sequence… How do we communicate the idea of a post-racial America in an untraditional way?

The series, set in Philadelphia, dives heavily into the gray areas of our justice system, where there is no clear picture who is good and who is evil, whether they are prison inmates or respected politicians.

A wonderful city rooted deeply in our country's history, Philadelphia inspired us immediately. The split between classes is still very evident in the city, and we attempted to capture that division in our titles. By shooting into broken mirrors, we created interesting abstractions and reflections and constructed scenes with an ever-present complexity and fractured nature.

Perhaps that was an ominous way of producing the job, because just before delivery, the network killed the whole direction.

Every aspect of the production process, from concept to completion, culminated in a beautiful main title. Even though the sequence has not aired, we are still very proud of the final result.

Tic Tac

Noise Vancouver came to Erin to create this fun commercial for Tic Tac Canada. They started off with a screenplay and the idea of a world made entirely of Tic Tacs… And that’s where Sarofsky took off running.

Erin and her team created a surreal environment where the Tic Tacs take us on an exciting journey… Literally transforming from one object to another right before your eyes. The world itself also takes on characteristics of the flavor… Cool, minty and fresh, which was a great direction for us to develop a visual style around.

For music, Sarofsky teamed up with our friends at So Loud Music to create an upbeat track that emphasizes both the refreshing flavor and "Pop Open Fun" tagline.

Michelob - The Slow Coil

The team at Palm+Havas came to us to help define a direction for their liquid and graphics in their latest round of Michelob spots. From there, we collaborated with the talented people at ImageryLabs, whose bleeding edge technology captured this amazing footage. We could not have worked with a stronger partner.

When the spots were finished, we were sad that most of the amazing liquid footage hit the cutting room floor. So we teamed up with our favorite editor, Josh Bodnar, and resurrected our amazing work. Then we heated up our Smoke and got these liquid-oriented spots all finished.

Bottoms up!

Shameless

John Wells Productions came to Erin looking for a main title sequence that captures the essence of their series “Shameless.” The solution Sarofsky created features all the characters in a way that is both distinctly humorous and slightly voyeuristic. The success of the main title as a portrait of the Gallagher family hinges on its unique location. The bathroom as the setting allows the viewer to connect with the family on a very human level, while at the same time it communicates their circumstances, closeness and innate humor.

This main title won a gold BDA award.

Vixen Vodka

This isn’t your average vodka. Vixen Vodka is not only delicious, but it has a point of view. It’s sexy, it’s empowering and it has a unique voice. With this series of 15 second spots for Vixen Vodka, we wanted to feature the product, while at the same time show off just how provocative and compelling the brand is.

The creative was crafted so that the spots could run as pre-roll, broadcast and in bars and clubs. This means they would need to work with or without sound. And because this is a part of the launch of the brand, it had to immediately create product recognition.

Try Vixen Vodka… Because no great story ever started over a salad.

Matador

We’ve got a few big Robert Rodriquez fans here at Sarofsky, so you can imagine our excitement when we got the call to pitch main titles for Matador, El Rey Network’s newest series.

The series follows Tony Bravo, a DEA agent who is recruited by the CIA to go undercover as a Los Angeles Riot pro soccer player. In the sequence, we used those themes to fuel our design… Which uses fire to transition throughout the sequence, consuming each title as we go.

Pulling from the series’ setting of Los Angeles, the style of the typography we used is reminiscent of Mexican/Chicano advertising painted on the sides of buildings. Our treatment, however, took that style and treated it with a unique texture: years of sun fading the type.

The Killing

AMC and Fuse Entertainment contacted Erin for an opening title sequence for their series, The Killing. In the sequence Sarofsky came up with, The Killing is introduced by taking a journey through eerie, wet Seattle from the perspective the main character, Sarah Linden. As she drives from the city to Discovery Park, multiple environments are seen through the foggy, rain saturated windows of her car. However, throughout the drive, there are also cuts to erratic and fast moving images of a dead body. The sequences introduces the setting of the show, while at the same time, allows the viewer to witness the inner workings of Sarah's mind.

Ghost Whisperer

The show creators for Ghost Whisperer, Ian Sander and Kim Moses, came to Digital Kitchen to create the main title for their series. The goal was to produce a sequence that acted as a metaphor for the underlying themes within the show: death, afterlife, haunting and searching. 

Erin Sarofsky, the main title director, suggested using Maggie Taylor's artwork as the visual foundation of the sequence, because it inherently has the two elements necessary to speak for the series… The visual qualities being vintage and ominous and the themes that related to the series as listed above. The imagery was brought to life through animation and editorial and worked perfectly juxtaposed to an equally foreboding score from Mark Snow. 

This main title was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

The Playboy Club

The Playboy Club show creator Chad Hodge came to Erin to create the main title for this awesome series. The goal was to create a sequence that would capture the retro, 1960s vibe of the show, but would also maintain a modern, contemporary style… The solution uses a stark black and white foundation as the color palette, which allows the Bunny outfits to pop. Sarofsky produced a live action shoot of the show’s main characters: Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard and Laura Benanti, as well as three additional Bunnies.

Community

After some discussion and development with the "Community" creators and producer, Erin landed on the cootie catcher as the perfect device to take the viewer through the show's credits. The cootie catcher is inherently amateurish, nostalgic, rich with texture and totally playful... All of which speak to the show and its characters... And it provided the perfect paper canvas to display credits. Sarofsky executed this entirely in 3D and composited the cootie catcher into the actual library where the majority of the show takes place.

Happy Endings

The Russo Brothers and creator David Caspe asked Erin to create a short main title for Happy Endings. The solution captures the fun spirit of the show, while simultaneously interjecting bits of Chicago scenery. Sarofsky shot the entire sequence with stills in different locations throughout the city, including several shots from the office's own backyard in the West Loop. The team then edited them together to create a constant stream of "happy"s.