A research project
from BTK (Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule/Berlin Technical Art University) students Nora Thoes and Damian Pérez examines the history of opening-title sequences in cinema. The Film Before the Film
documents the art of opening credits from King Kong
to The Avengers
Ian Albinson's website Art of the Title
has been doing the same thing for some time now and notes that titles first became a legitimate draw for audiences during a screening of Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm
in 1955. "Preminger knew that his collaboration with graphic designer Saul Bass had produced something interesting. And he wanted his audience, who were normally spared the dull roll of credits, to see it. That simple cutout of a heroin addict’s arm caused a sensation."
Thoes and Pérez's 12-minute video essay also takes a look at Bass' contributions and shows the transitions from early film credits to the inclusion of digital techniques, a resurgence of old-school style, and filmmakers' love of typography in space.