A Little Thing Called

A Little Thing Called Television – Opening Titles

As a Video Editor and Motion Graphics Designer, I find the opening sequences of TV shows very important factor of any project. It is the first thing that the audience will see and it needs to be striking and stand out to the audience to convince them to watch the rest of the show / film.

I watch a lot of television. I hardly watch live television any more for three reasons – 1) I don’t have a TV 2) I use my iPad as a television 3) I don’t have the time. I love the fact that technology advancements has allowed us to catch up with our favourite shows whenever we want, wherever we are. It provides a lot of advantages for people who have busy work lives or who are forgetful as to when their show is on TV. The only negative I do find with catch-up TV is that it means that a lot of the time we don’t give many new television shows that we wouldn’t normally watch a chance. (Like the ones that would play in the background because we are too lazy to change the channel.) It’s mostly focussed now on the ones that are talked about a lot on Social Media Channels or the shows that we are familiar with the actors / actresses etc.

Opening titles are something that I am interested in and potentially a career route that I would be interested to get involved with and have dabbled with at times throughout my career in TV so far! So here are some of the opening titles i love.

Russell Howards Good News, BBC Three

I love stand up comedy, and have been a big fan of Mr Howard since the early days of Mock the Week. When I heard he was having his own show I religiously watched it and doesn’t fail to make me laugh. The opening titles though I would say is one of my favourite things about the show. The mix of stop animation and motion graphics is one of the reasons why I love the shows opening titles. I think it is very effective the way that the news is portrayed in different ways throughout the sequence and connotes the ever evolving process of how we hear about recent news events. It took over 150 cutouts of Russell to produce the stop animation

Sherlock, BBC 1

I absolutely love the use of graphics in this show and the opening title i absolutely adore.I love the way they are edited together with quick shots and translucent based images to give an overall gist as to what the show is about the close ups and the way the text intertwines really makes it a fun and interesting 30 seconds to watch.

The Night Manager, BBC 1

I will give you the honest truth right now – I only started watching this show because of Tom Hiddleston was in it. I find him a very versatile actor and was intrigued to se ehim return to the small screen. Before the show even started I watched the opening titles in amazement as they were so catchy. With the use of slow motion and such simplified shots to connote a show is so effective and really stands out from the start.

Bear Grylls Mission Survive, ITV

It’s not often i watch a television show and get slightly jealous that I didn’t work on the graphics but this show i did. The whole branding for this show is extremely effective and i love the opening title sequence; it’s rough enough to connote survival however snazzy enough to promote an entertainment show.

Shaun The Sheep, CBBC

In 2010 I analysed the opening titles to Shaun the Sheep completely in depth, frame by frame. With this analysis, I looked at the the way that the colours in each shot were specifically used, the way that the characters were presented, the mis-en-scene the style of shots and the transitions. I found analysing the opening titles gave me inspiration for my own stop animation project. Anyway, enjoy!

Live and Kicking, BBC 1

I think everyone has a first TV show that they will never forget the opening titles for, this and the opening to Fun House were the two that will always stick in my mind. I used to love the opening to Live and Kicking and remember being fascinated by how it was done and how it was created. I remember seeing this every morning was always exciting because it meant that Children’s Saturday Morning TV was on! I watched Live and Kicking for many years, but  then Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakstan left and I eventually found SM:TV live and became a traitor and watched CiTV.

Episodes, BBC 2

From the moment I saw the opening titles I was fascinated by the hard work that had gone into them. I love the way that the script turns into a bird and flies across the ocean and the midnight sky to connote a brief synopsis of what the programme is about. I love the typewriter style music and the use of colours and graphics the whole way through.

Chuck, NBC

I love the graphics, the colours used, the simplicity and the big effect it has on connoting that the film is about crime, comedy and computer nerds and the use of the music.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS

There two things I love about this opening titles – the first is the comical music by Fun Lovin’ Criminals and the second is the editing. I love how fast the editing is in the opening titles as it goes through the last thousands of hears of history from a scientific perspective.

The Inbetweeners, E4

I really like the way that motion graphics are predominantly used throughout the whole sequence. I find it very effective the way that the colour grey and the Primary colours are used throughout to connote that these are your standard sort of guys, down to earth and “nitty gritty”.

Game Of Thrones, Sky Atlantic 

I don’t even watch this show but I have seen the opening titles on various occasions and they are so effective that i have become a fan of them. Whilst I am part of the small population who have no interest in watching the show, the opening titles remain an inspiration.

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