Imaginary Forces Designs Poignant Titles For Holiday Features

Imaginary Forces Designs Poignant Titles For Holiday Features

Imaginary Forces (IF) launches into the holiday season with main titles for two highly anticipated features, "We Are Marshall" and "Charlotte's Web." IF Creative Director Karin Fong led the design effort working closely with Directors McG on "We Are Marshall" and Gary Winick on "Charlotte's Web." Both projects required maintaining authenticity to the stories, but with vastly different design solutions.

"We Are Marshall," starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, is based on the true story of the aftermath of the plane crash that killed Marshall University football players, coaches and fans, and how the team's new coach (McConaughey) and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

This feature marks the third collaboration between Fong and McG. The two had previously worked on the "Charlie's Angels" franchise. Fong and the IF team created main on end titles for "We Are Marshall," which integrated actual photos and mementos of the football team with film footage.

"It was clear there was a great collaboration with the community on this film," explains Fong. "McG wanted to show the actors with their real-life counterparts, which was a big part of these titles. We also asked people to send in their souvenirs from the games. We got so many bits and pieces, all carefully preserved. This told us how much this team and football program meant to the town. These photos and things gave the sequence real emotion."

Enhancing the emotional factor was also key in designing the main and end titles for the live-action film version of "Charlotte's Web." The challenge was to capture the spirit of the popular children's book, but with a design interpretation that was unique to the film. This was accomplished by working with an illustrator to create their own pen and ink style - and animating the illustrations in a dimensional space.

"These titles should feel like classic book coming to life," remarks Fong. "There's a connection to the print version we wanted to maintain. So we worked with an illustrator to develop pen, ink and watercolor drawings that would reference the storybook, but at the same time take on a style of their own. The film itself is a live-action interpretation, not an animated feature, so the drawn idea contrasts the rich world of the footage that follows."

The main titles have to establish the setting of Somerset County where the story takes place via big landscape shots of the town, farm, tree grove and pond. The end titles, however, focus more on the changing seasons, and detail shots such as a drop of dew and dandelions floating by. Cropped images of the farm animals also play to the camera in an abstract way providing a hint of the characters in the story and the actors who played them.

"The idea here was that time marches on with the seasons similar to the cyclical nature of life and re-birth, a strong theme throughout the film," says Fong. "The lyrical end titles reflect on what was so powerful with the 'Charlotte's Web' story. This is one of the most loved books ever. We all adore this book and we wanted to do justice to it and the film."

Title: We Are Marshall main on end title sequence (December 22, 2006)

Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Karin Fong
Art Director: Peggy Oei
Designers: Jeremy Cox, Peggy Oei, Karin Fong
Animators: Jeremy Cox, Nick Rubenstein, Gary Tam
Editors: Peter Johnson, Malcolm Hearn
Producer: Kathy Kelehan
Coordinators: Heather Dennis, Michele Watkins, Merrill Stephens
Inferno Artists: Rod Basham, Matt Spencer, Nick Rubenstein
End Crawl: Scarlet Letters

Studio: Warner Bros.
Director: McG

Title: Charlotte's Web opening and end title sequences (December 15, 2006)

Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Karin Fong
Art Directors: Mark Gardner, Stan Lim
Designers: Mark Gardner, Stan Lim, Karin Fong
Animators: Stan Lim, Jeremy Cox, Camille Chu, Paul Yeh, Gary Tam
Illustrator: Kathryn Rathke
Colorists: Ian Kim, Pete Pantazis
Editor: Justine Gerenstein
Inferno Artists: Rod Basham, Nick Rubenstein, and Matt Spencer
Producers: Kathy Kelehan, Alexis Kronhaus
Coordinators: Heather Dennis, Emily Branham

Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Gary Winick

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 The Break-Up, Ray, The Legend of Zorro, Band of Brothers, 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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