yU + co evokes the brooding spirit of a future world, wracked by conflict and dominated by a warrior race in its darkly handsome main title and end title sequences for THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.
That mysterious ability of Riddick (Vin Diesel) to see in the dark provided the inspiration for yU + cos spare main title treatment. The movie title emerges out of an inky blackness, like an object that becomes visible as ones eyes adjust to the dark. Even the typography suggests a malevolent spirit as the lettering appears to be carved roughly out of lead, a reference to the crudely fashioned weapons employed by Riddick in the film.
The studio was very pleased to have the opportunity to work with such a unique director. David [Twohy] brings a distinctive aesthetic to filmmaking that we admire and enjoy, said yU + co creative director Garson Yu. The vision he has of the future is quite different from other science fiction films. Its disquieting and disturbing. We wanted the titles to provoke that same response from audiences.
The look of the main title was derived from careful study of the film. The movie has a golden tone, but it is a decayed, decadent gold, explained yU + co designer Synderela Peng. The civilization portrayed in the film is possessed of advanced technology, but it is not the bright, shiny technology people typically visualize. It is degraded, rough. The typography that we created looks like it is a product of that technology. It appears rusted and looks as if it were produced by brute force.
Disturbing imagery plays a more prominent role in the end title sequence as the credit roll animates over images of bas relief sculpture of the Necromonger race featured in the film. The tacitly human forms recall the gargoyles of medieval churches, depicting tortured souls in the heat of battle. The sequence climaxes with a relief sculpture of Riddick himself, seated on his throne, an image that recalls the penultimate scene in the movie.
Our concept was to tell the history of the Necromongers, a fierce and violent race, said Peng. They are people who enjoy pain. We wanted to present the audience with one more frightening image to carry in their minds as they leave the theater.
With the exception of Riddick, all of the sculptural elements featured in the end title were a part of the films set. yU + co artists painted photographs of the set pieces to make it appear as though they were shot in a dim half light. The Riddick sculpture did not exist as a set piece, rather yU + co animators produced it from scratch as 3D animation, using a frame from the films final scene as reference.
yU + co previously created main title sequences for two other Universal films, THE HULK and PETER PAN. Coming up for the studio are the main title and teaser graphics for the new Steven Spielberg film, THE TERMINAL, opening June 18.
Credits for yU + co go to Garson Yu, creative director; Jennifer Fong, executive producer; Buzz Hays, producer; Synderela Peng, designer; David Yan, 2D animator; Chris Vincola and Nate Homan, 3D artists; Zachary Scheuren, editor; Danny Mudgett, inferno artist.
yU + co is located at 941 N. Mansfield Ave., Hollywood, California, 90038. For more information, call (323) 606-5050.