Cédric Klapisch director
“We can let go of the dialogs and shooting script to focus on more intuitive and symbolic things. Actually working on a title sequence is very close to working with music.
It is more sensory, less narrative.”
What is a title sequence to you?
It’s a corridor, a small path to get into the film. A title sequence is: in the mood for film.
Of course, its first function is to present the names of the people who worked on the film. But to me, it is mainly a way to capture the viewer’s attention in order to prepare him to better experience the esthetics and narrative of the film’s beginning.
I remember how the opening sequence to “Chacun cherche son chat”, which we completed pretty late, completely changed the way to enter the film. As a result, it transformed the whole way of sensing the film.
What is the importance of title sequence in your films?
It is essential, and I like the idea that, at this moment of the perception of the film, we work a lot with graphic design and music.
We move the usual tools of filmmaking.
We can let go of the dialogs and shooting script to focus on more intuitive and symbolic things. Actually working on a title sequence is very close to working with music.
It is more sensory, less narrative.
What is your involvement in the making of the title sequences to your films?
Eric Brocherie and I are kind of “partners in crime”. He is the one who has made ALL the title sequences to my films (except for “Un air de famille), ever since I started in short films.
What is your relationship with the designer of your title sequences?
We talk a lot, both upstream and while working.
We sometimes start from distant references. On “Les poupées russes”, the book “Cameras works” about photo collages by David Hockney had a great influence.
But as Eric and I set everything in motion at the end, it became something totally different.
On “Ma part du gâteau”, we had in mind the Pink Floyd’s music video “San Francisco”. The idea was to start from real images, accelerated to create sensations and almost unconscious shocks.
We had to find a way to be political in a poetic or sensory manner.
What is your relationship with the music composer of your title sequences?
We are very close. For that matter, Loïk Dury, Eric Brocherie and I have been working in a trio for six films.
Between Eric’s computer plugged in with After Effects and Loïk’s computer plugged in with Cubase, there is me, plugged in to my scooter...
At first, when they didn’t know each other, they would wait for each other. Loïk would tell me: “It would be better to get images in order to compose the music”. And Eric would tell me: “I’m waiting for the music to animate the graphic elements”. Now we use rough versions for the work in progress... Everyone goes ahead with a sense of what the other one is doing. It is a true relationship of complicity.
How does budget influence the quality and creativity of your title sequences?
It sometimes matters, sometimes not. It depends on the concept we are pursuing.
When do you start thinking of the title sequence?
While writing and editing.
It is the same as for the film itself; if what was planned and written does no longer fit, then we find another idea.
Do you believe title sequence should be considered a work of art in its own right? Do you think there should be an Academy award to reward film title designers?