Spectre, the latest 007 adventure, is almost here! To celebrate, we’ve collected our favorite James Bond title sequences. Will your favorite make our list?
Top Image Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
James Bond, the longest ongoing series and character in film history, is set to come alive once again in Spectre. Bond title sequences are legendary for their use of scantily-clad women — but one thing that most people overlook is their use of progressive art techniques.
What better way to celebrate the release of the new film than by watching some of the best title sequences from the series. We’ll show you how each one of these legendary title sequences is unique. Plus, we’ll also tell you exactly what artists worked on them and how they created it.
Video from juanmurs.
This title sequence was created by designer Daniel Kleinman, a name you’re going to hear quite often in the selections ahead. This was his first attempt at creating an opening title sequence for the James Bond series. Needless to say, it created a bit of controversy; the main imagery of the title sequence was the destruction of Socialist symbols, which caused the film to be banned in certain countries.
Regardless of political correctness, this opening title sequence was a special one, as it was the very first sequence in the Bond series to use computer-generated assets. It was also the very first collaboration between Kleinman and Framestore, the VFX house responsible for the last eight title sequences, plus the upcoming Spectre.
While Framestore and Kleinman used some groundbreaking software in 1995 to create this sequence, today this type of imagery can be developed through a combination of Cinema4D, 3DS Max, or Maya with the inclusion of Nuke and After Effects.
4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Video from AvengedS939
This opening title sequence was created by the legendary Maurice Binder, who developed the openings for fourteen James Bond films. Maurice is probably best known for creating the signature “gun-barrel opening” seen in many of 007’s films, as well as the use of silhouetted women.
For this title sequence, Maurice used the repeating shape of the hourglass figure in conjunction with a clock. These images pointed to the shape of the martini glass or the women that Bond would be associated with, as well as the passage of time. Various images would be double-exposed within the frame, which is very similar to the opening sequence from Goldfinger.
Video from OddSunStudios
For Skyfall, Kleinman and Framestore used a mixture of software and techniques to pull off one of the very best James Bond title sequences ever. We begin by seeing a seemingly dead Bond plunge into water, slowly drifting into the darkness below. What we then see is a montage of imagery, putting the audience right in the middle of 007’s mind.
Kleinman and director Sam Mendes worked with Framestore to give the audience hints at imagery that would be seen later in the film. This was done to try and instill a sense of deja vu for the audience. For this sequence, Framestore’s software of choice was The Foundry’s Nuke.
Video from AvengedS939
Designed and created by artist Robert Brownjohn, the opening of Goldfinger utilized the technique of projecting footage onto the bodies of models. Brownjohn would then film the result of this imagery overlay. The idea for this came from the work of Laszlo Maholy-Nagy and his films from the 1920s and 30s.
Today we see this type of image overlay on many film and television show intros, with the most prominent being the title sequence for the HBO series True Detective. If you want to know how to develop something like that in After Effects, be sure to check out After Effects Tutorials w/ Mikey.
1. Casino Royale
Video from shaken notstirred
We’ll end just like we started… with the work of Daniel Kleinman. Breaking from tradition, Kleinman did not use any female silhouettes, as had been customary. Instead, he and collaborator Framestore took footage of Daniel Craig and digitally enhanced it to pull his figure out as a silhouette, using a mixture of Photoshop and Nuke.
Inspired by the original cover of Ian Fleming’s book of the same name, Kleinman felt that this imagery would best serve to represent the character of James Bond and the trials that he would face in the film ahead. Without question, this title sequence is the best we’ve seen yet. Will Spectre manage to top it?
Did your favorite James Bond intro make out list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!