I chose to go for the extra credit and limit myself to 20 images and create 12 scenes.
I also put together a basic animatic of the titles as I wanted to convey how I envisaged them in motion - a crucial aspect for me.
In addition to limiting the images I also tried to limit the tools and tricks I used in photoshop and after effects. No 3rd party plugins or fancy transition effects!
NARRATIVE STRUCTURE & APPROACH
We had a lot of great images to choose from: from the rocket launch to the astronauts exploration on the surface of the moon.
I felt The takeoff and moon exploration aspects of the story had been told so often that there was little to add here. We have almost become immune to seeing these images.
I chose to concentrate on the moment the astronauts first leave the earth's atmosphere and are completely alone for the first time. For me this was at the heart of the human story. It is often noted that a profound - often religious experience - occurs when astronauts first view the earth from space. I wanted to try and capture this moment. As the earth recedes and the astronauts are left spinning in space, weightless and alone. As we follow the astronauts on their journey to the moon, the titles become a document of that journey. A testament to the bravery in the face of the unknown. We see astronauts floating in the vastness of space on a space walk. The lunar module spins off into the shadowy depths.
Ultimately the moon becomes all encompassing and overpowering as we hurtle towards it.
I also felt this approach would help to introduce the subsequent film and build a bit more intrigue about what is to come rather than showing everything in the opening titles.
Great titles, I feel, should always leave you wanting more and really build anticipation.
PACING AND ANIMATION
Animation and motion should always have a rationale and help to reinforce the story and narrative.
As we move through space the astronauts are always shown with lots of negative space around them. This helps to convey the sense of solitude and isolation. We see them slowly spinning in a clockwise motion from centre - gravity no longer has any grip here. They are weightless and disorientated.
Images cross fade and overlap. Time dissipates and melds into one long day / night.
The titles appear from bottom and float off into the vastness of space. The type is always small to help reinforce the vastness of the space around it.
As we approach the moon the tempo increases. The first hard cut / jump cut as the moon fills the screen (the first full screen image), ramping up the drama. The moon is all around us now. Enveloping us, our new reality.
In the final shot we see the earth from the surface of the moon. Almost like we are looking back in the rear view mirror. The earth spins away - counter clockwise this time - We are not in Kansas anymore!
I wanted to use a trypace from that era, ideally from the same year 1969. Unfortunately I couldn't find any that worked from 1969 so I broadened the search and found the OCR B typeface. A monospace font which was created by Adrian Frutiger in 1968. OCR B was developed to be optically recognised by machines, so for its time it was pretty cutting edge. I personally think it has aged well and still looks quite timeless. It also has a beautiful technological naivety. A 60’s vision of what the future might hold.
I also intially explored a few illustraion / icon ideas but ultiately these detracted from the great imagery and where not necessary.