Japanese Film Festival Opening Titles

Silver Plaque
49th INTERCOM Awards, Chicago International Film Festival

The theme this year is 'Inspire'.

Japanese films have always provided us with inspirations in many different ways. "For this piece, we wanted to create a space, a space where the signifier and signified are displaced ever so slightly; a space where the audience, whilst watching the opening titles, can recall those personal moments where they had been inspired or touched by Japanese films," Creative Director Mark Sun shares.

"The motifs of 'camera' lens blur (bokehs) used in the opening title are inspired by the films of Jun Ichikawa (市川 準, 25 November 1948 – 19 September 2008), an iconic director, whom I had a pleasure of meeting in one of the past Japanese Film Festival, just before his passing. To me it connotes the sense of ephemeral-ness of urban living, and the meaning each and every one of us finds within it. This piece is my way of paying tribute to him"

The sound-scape, very much inspired by the look of the visuals, plays a key part in the title. The various audio elements used are everyday sounds that are characteristic sounds of Japanese films. They were kept raw to be put in the specific points in a vast audio space created by the visuals and ambient music. The final result completes the narrative while at the same time invites the audience to interpret the theme "inspire".

One of the challenges faced was in the design of the bokehs. There was a certain sensitivity involved in designing to strike the delicate balance between showing just enough dots to allow people to identify the object, but yet not too many that it overwhelms and complicates. We tried numerous methods and renditions, before hitting on the sweet spot where the right balance is struck – lighting up a smile to our face.