Tiger Raid Titles

Creating the title sequence for our first feature-film.

Making a title sequence for our feature film Tiger Raid.

Tiger Raid is the first feature film by our Sister Company Story. Directed by DixonBaxi co-founder Simon Dixon and produced by Gareth Coulam Evans, it is the story of two mercenaries bound together by a job, hounded by demons from their pasts, and unable to face the truth of who they are. And a highlight of making the film? Getting to create our own titles. So the DB studio used a bold and dynamic blend of live action and design to create a 2m 23s sequence that became an abstracted representation of the mind and thoughts of the main character.

Live action + collage mashup

The backbone of the sequence was an image FX shoot with Martin Godward at the fantastic Pirate Studios. The studio itself is a VFX playground, full of buckets and boxes of strange powder, liquids and equipment.

Using the Phantom Flex 2K high speed camera with a variety of optics, we  shot some elements at upto 2000fps, we threw blood, the deepest black oil, fire explosions, dirt and quite a few maggots into the mix.

We were very clear on what we were after with many of the shots, abstracted references to moments within the film. Many of the best shots came from experimentation, play and getting our hands dirty. Submerging roses in rich, glossy black liquid, burning acetate with pre-printed typography, stop-motion with back-lit tabletop. The outcome was a strangely hypnotic and richly textured live action bed and the basis of the edit and post-production work to turn these moments into our abstracted narrative.

Hand made typography

To create the initial type layouts we used collage and photocopying to generate a more hand-crafted and spontaneous feel. We wanted an agitated, unpredictable feel to match the malevolent tone of the titles. Hundreds of typographical layouts, typeset names and combinations were created, tested, remade and recut to get just the right sense of anxiety as well as beauty.

This was fed though the footage and layered with effects and intense texturing to blend the final elements into the live action bed.

Balance and choreography

One of the hardest parts of the 8 week process was balancing the choreography and narrative of the sequence. The blend of shot with credit as well as building a continuation of story of the film. To do this we not only continually worked on and iterated the edit, but printed out every key frame and did paper edits throughout the process. That objectivity allowed us to find new, powerful relationships that help build a better sequence.

The final sequence was graded to feel rich, textured with deep reds and blacks and greys. Our intent was to make it feel highly cinematic and alongside the visuals it has a soundtrack that echoes the minimalist, yet expansive score of the feature film.

We are proud to say that Tiger Raid has just been completed and a Festival premiere will be announced soon. At which point we can reveal more about the film, titles and soundtrack.