Imaginary Forces Designs Chilling Main Titles for the Number 23

Imaginary Forces Designs Chilling Main Titles for the Number 23

Imaginary Forces (IF) recently collaborated with Director Joel Schumacher in designing the main titles for the thriller "The Number 23" starring Jim Carrey. IF Art Director Michelle Dougherty led the design effort with a jarring opener that sets up the film's frightening plot of obsession, psychological torture, murder and the number 23.

In "The Number 23," Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) becomes fixated with a book that appears to be based on his life, but ends with a murder that has yet to happen in reality.

The main titles set the tone and context of the film - namely, the hidden power and prevalence of the number 23. The sequence uses erratic typewriter movements, seeping blood and ink blotches to suggest a haunting and dark narrative. A sheet of paper is peppered with the number 23 as related facts woven throughout the sequence appear via bleeding red and black stains. The Knights Templar had 23 Grand Masters, and King Charles I was beheaded on January 30th, 1649 - with the numbers in the date adding up to 23.

Michelle Dougherty and the IF artists worked closely with Director Joel Schumacher and Executive Producer Eli Rouchburg to finesse the aesthetic and graphical representations in the main titles. Blood is an important element in the film as the novel read by Carrey's character is a chilling murder mystery. The blood also serves as a metaphor for the book, which has a red cover.

"We wanted to communicate the torment of Jim Carrey's character," explains Dougherty. "The titles are designed to be unsettling. The raw graphics and typography, along with the orchestrated moves in the edit, capture the suspenseful tone underlying the entire film."

Dougherty worked with a team that included designer Rob Bolick; designer/animator Juan Monasterio; animators Sean Koriakin, Magnus Hierta and Andrew Hoevler; editor Danielle White; and Flame Artist Rod Basham.

"This is the first project where animation, design and editorial were equally important," concludes Dougherty. "We were all working in tandem. It was really refreshing to collaborate with Joel [Schumacher]

and his team. They were always excited about our work, and open to our ideas on design aesthetic. They let us do what we needed to do."

Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Peter Frankfurt
Director: Michelle Dougherty
Art Director: Michelle Dougherty
Producers: Steiner Kierce, Kathy Kelehan
Lead Designer: Juan Monasterio
Designers: Rob Bolick, Brett Krauss
2D Animators: Juan Monasterio, Sean Koriakin, Andrew Hoevler, Magnus Hierta
Editor: Danielle White
Flame Artists: Rod Basham, Nick Rubenstein
Coordinators: Joe Denk, Heather Dennis

Production Company: New Line Cinema
Director: Joel Schumacher
Executive Producer: Eli Richbourg
Producer: Beau Flynn
Editor: Mark Stevens

Imaginary Forces
Imaginary Forces (IF) is an entertainment and design company based in Hollywood and New York. Its award-winning work spans the diverse industries of feature film production, entertainment marketing and promotion, corporate branding, architecture, advertising and interactive media. IF's recent work includes identity packages for Lifetime, USA Network, Animal Planet and MTV, as well as effective and compelling broadcast advertising for Nike, Toyota, Pontiac, Smirnoff and Lexus. In entertainment and media marketing, IF created campaigns for such films as Transformers, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Stepford Wives, Signs and both Men in Black films. The company also designed and produced main title sequences for Charlotte's Web, The Break-Up, Ray, Spider-Man, and Seven, and produced the highly successful Blade trilogy. Combining architecture and media, IF has developed branded experiences for IBM, Morgan Stanley, Airbus Industries and the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. The studio is also a principal partner in United Architects (UA), one of six finalists for the re-design of the World Trade Center site at Ground Zero. Combining storytelling, filmmaking and architecture to address the social, emotional, urban, national and international issues, the UA model is now a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. UA recently collaborated on an immersive architectural media exhibit, "Bubbles in the Wine," for the "New York, New York" exhibition in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The company also designed most of the graphical elements for MTV's "Virtual Laguna Beach," based on the popular reality TV series, and created projections for Director Julie Taymor's operatic production of "Grendel."

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