Filmmaker David Fincher has had a bit of a whirlwind career. From making movies on his super 8 mm as a child to landing a spot at ILM working on features like Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is perhaps his later work directing music videos for the likes of Madonna, Aerosmith, and Billy Idol that honed Fincher’s ability to create high-impact, lasting visuals. Which is why it is no surprise that the title sequences in many of David Fincher’s films are often as iconic as the films themselves. Here is a sampling of the highly-creative opening titles that grace his films.
This title sequence is perhaps the most tame of the Fincher films. Quietly showing you the city from a distance while, rather creatively, breaking with the tradition of simply superimposing titles over the visuals. Instead the type literally hangs in the environment floating across building facades and other city elements. The cold detachment of this sequence may set-up how the Altman’s are isolated in their house with no one to help them, despite living in a city of millions of people.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This is a more whimsical approach than other Fincher films. Certainly the story’s main themes are represented in fairy tale imagery of spinning clocks and changing seasons to an up-lifting orchestral score.
Set to a driving electronic dance score by The Dust Brothers, this sequence by Digital Domain has us soaring through a web of microscopic organic structures that suggest we’re traveling inside someone’s body. As the sequence closes we pull out and magnification increases until it’s revealed we are leaving the sweating pore of a face staring down the barrel of a gun.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Blur Studio’s visually arresting title sequence for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo pounds the viewer into submission with haunting images hinting of greed, corruption, and innocence lost.
Set to a rousing re-imagining of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” by Karen O, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
When this film was released in 1995, this disturbing intro by Kyle Cooper set the bar for modern title sequences and continues to be a source of inspiration for many filmmakers. Cooper’s work is seen everywhere these days, including the creepy intro to The Walking Dead TV series. Se7en‘s opener sets the tone for the whole film by offering us a chilling glimpse of a serial killer feverishly scrawling in his composition books. A madman’s inner thoughts taking shape before our eyes. Think “Martha Stewart scrapbooking project” in the hands of Charles Manson.