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OFFF 2009 Main Titles - Prologue

Every few years, I come across a body of work that really moves me. Sam Javanrouh’s work did that for me over 4 years ago; it made me see photography in a whole new light, and since then I have lived and breathed it to the point that it has almost become my career. If it was not for Sam, I would have never realized my love for visuals and creating imagery. It was through Sam and Shahin that I discovered YSDN - otherwise I might have been doing something horrible with my life… like studying business!

I recently came across the work of Kyle Cooper while browsing on Motionographer. His work on the OFFF 2009 Main Titles absolutely blew me away. The harmony between skillful typography, graphic forms and beautiful cinematography create a hybrid that makes me drool!

Cooper earned a M.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Yale School of Art (what I currently consider to be the best place in the world to study design, and a place I wish to study at one day), where he studied independently with Paul Rand. He is responsible for starting Imaginary Forces in 1996, and Prologue in 2003, and has since been credited with almost single-handedly revitalizing the main title sequence as an art form.

I had the great pleasure of attending Cooper’s keynote presentation at Design Thinkers 2009, and had a chance to hear his stories from his days back in Yale, as well as his views about his career. Perhaps the most inspiring thing I took away from the keynote was this: Cooper used to feel like a frustrated director, wishing he could be a filmmaker, but feeling like he had not fully achieved his dreams since he was only doing open title sequences for movies. However he now feels the open title sequences are essential to setting the tone and the mood for a film, and therefore he has devoted his career to producing a ‘Prologue’ for some of the best films made today.

I had been getting quite tired and bored with conventional print graphic design, and was considering just becoming a photographer after I graduate this year. But after experiencing Cooper’s work, I have once again seen the light; maybe there is a way to do both design and photography. I want to take my love for photography (light/composition/cinematography) and output it as a time based medium - video. I want to combine this with what I have learned about typography and graphic design, to create the ultimate medium of story telling. I don’t necessarily want to create open title sequences, but over the next few years I would like to experiment with different ways of telling a story through time-based media. I have almost undoubtedly decided to pursue a career in this field, rather that print.

Thank you Kyle Cooper; I hope to have the privilege of working with you one day.

Festival Visionsonic Open Titles

I was really inspired by the treatment of type in this video. I have always considered video or photography as flat, two-dimensional images, but as this sequence clearly shows, they can be interpreted as three-dimensional spaces. All it takes it some imagination. They have the images and drawn imaginary angles that extend from objects, and use those lines as the foundation for text. I also admire the close relationship between type and image. Type has been treated as an element in the atmosphere, therefore if, for example, the view is obstructed by a pillar, the type is as well. I do, however, feel that the choice of typography could have been better.