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Film Studies 101
Feature
Anatomy Of An Opening Sequence: David Fincher’s Seven
Title designer Kyle Cooper talks through the iconic credits

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"Fincher has obviously developed into a genuine auteur, a really seasoned filmmaker who doesn’t have to rely on effects. Here he was thinking about the idea of credits as handwriting to suggest the dark part of John Doe’s personality and his obsession, and he actually scratched all the credits on a scratchboard and then scanned it back in. Then we made an animation, pieces of film where the type is clear and everything around it is black, and put those on a light box and shot them all on film, and then opened the gate and over-exposed them. We had to composite all these type accidents on top of the live action plate. It was very difficult. What people don’t understand is that there’s no animation per se – today we all use After Effects and all of this animation software, but in a lot of my credit sequences the animation is created editorially. For Gwyneth Paltrow’s credit might have 15 different cuts, so we create this animation by cutting all of those things."

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