Writing the review of the spoof magazine covers for Dexter, the hit television series from Showtime, made me revisit its Emmy Award-winning opening credits. Just like the beautiful opening credits of that other show my wife and I like so much – Six Feet Under – it was created by Chicago-based Digital Kitchen, a creative agency that focuses on film production, experiential design, motion graphics, brand identity, and interactive work for marketing and entertainment.
In the opening credits the morning routine of the protagonist becomes a bone-chilling ritual that is almost too gruesome to watch. Both real blood and fake (the ketchup on the eggs) punctuate highly suggestive images in which Dexter seems to slash, rend, crush, strangle and suffocate himself through a series of otherwise banal morning activities.
Original version When I went to the Digital Kitchen site to make the screenshots for this post, I noticed to my surprise that the typography had been changed. Originally the credits were set in rather big red DIN 1451 Engschrift – nope, not Albert-Jan Pool’s multi-weight FF DIN reworking but the original, slightly clunky digitization. Yet now it was replaced by a slim and elegant white condensed Basic Commercial caps for the names, with Andale Mono credit lines. Two things: no I’m not linking to that other digitization of Basic Commercial as I’d like Sinterklaas to not skip our house this year, and yes Andale Mono is the previously free system font that Arsender Corp is actually trying to sell you these days. Major bad karma, twice.
I can understand the switch. The original typography was too overbearing and interfered with the great image sequence. Also I noticed that – instead of simply making the new typography white – they dramatically reduced the range of the image levels within the character shapes. You can try out this effect for yourself: open an image in Adobe Photoshop, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels... and slide the right hand slide of the Input Levels from 255 to the left. As a result the shades are still visible in bright yellow to red, so the movement of the underlying image can be seen in the white character shapes which is a very nice effect. An improvement indeed.
The opening credits appear to have gained an element of notoriety as a very funny parody surfaced. In Dessler an observant Jew goes about his morning routine. Bangitout created the spoof credits in honor of the High Holy Days, but you don’t have to speak Yiddish to see the humor. The clip is amazingly accurate and perfectly mirrors the timing of the original.
05.11.2008 - 23.57.42
Posted by Unzipper
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