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Jungle Fever (1991)

Directed by: 
Spike Lee
Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson
Title design: 
Balsmeyer & Everett, Inc.
Balsmeyer & Everett: “Ernest Dickerson shot it and our contribution was the manipulation of his cityscapes and the design and motion of the traffic signs. Spike wanted them to be the visual representation of what people in these neighbourhoods think: if you could see what goes on in their heads, on traffic signs, what would they say? Coming up with those slogans was pretty difficult. We try to be unbelievably PC, and these signs were the antithesis of PC.
They are virtually full scale: the city gave us a bunch of blanks, which we dirtied up and heavily ‘weathered’. The signs were shot motion control on our stage: they are stationary, and the camera is moving around them. We did them all ‘front light, back light’: one pass in the camera with the lights on for beauty, then a white cyclorama was lit up behind the signs and we photographed their silhouettes. That’s what created the matte so they could be put together optically with the background scenes. The background is pixillated: instead of just step-printing, it’s got a little ‘g-da, g-da’ rhythm built into it that goes with the music. Something like: photograph the first frame, don’t photograph the next three, and then catch the next. It’s all done in the optical stage.”

– Sight and Sound, December 1994
Jungle Fever (1991) blu-ray movie title card Title sequence