David Cronenberg: “We toyed with using a New York skyline, but Burroughs is not a New York kind of person. We were really thinking about the time slip, the mid-to-late 50s, early 60s. So we looked at Saul Bass-type credits, and also at Grove Press books, which published Burroughs, Kerouac and Ginsberg. We wanted the movie version of what the books of the time would have looked like.”
Balsmeyer & Everett: “David originally wanted to see the coloured panels solid, opaque, and moving against each other, with no third colour where they intersect. So we did it that way, and then said, “ You really don’t want to do this.” And he said, “You’re right.”
Technically, it’s incredibly simple and totally mechanical. The type went out as kodaliths: all variations on Futura – we probably couldn’t have done this piece without a Macintosh. Those sheets of clear film with black lettering are placed in front of the camera. Then the overlapping irregular shapes are cut out of black cardboard, with a coloured gel inside, back lit, and done as multiple exposures. For instance, you shoot only the green first, then you wind the film back, set up the orange one and shoot that. We had to test a million coloured gels to see which ones produce that cool colour when they overlap. So this effect never happened in real life; only on film.”
The images displayed on this page are recent additions to The MOVIE TITLE STILLS COLLECTION, a website containing screen captures of titles from feature films. Regular titles as well as some ending credits and titles from trailers.