Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More About the HBO Opening Sequence

As a response to my recent post about the opening sequence on HBO, I got the following message from Arco1.

I see you discovered the HBO behind-the-scenes video.

It was a very ambitious intro and was said to be the most expensive and innovative concept at the time, especially for cable TV. History sidebar - HBO was one of the first cable-only networks, and also one of the first to provide something more between movies than just a billboard with Oh God! You Devil starts in 17 minutes 08 seconds.

The original promo was full of amazing effects from start to finish. I remember first seeing it at a trade show, maybe National Assoc. of Broadcasters convention. More amazing is the amount of effort it took to do what can now be done on the desktop in a few hours.

I remember one thing that caught everyone's attention was the light-burst. Today, that moire light pattern is easy to construct in something like Adobe After Effects. Of course, having to construct a miniature physical city or physical "HBO" is no longer necessary either. Numerous add-ons can provide 3D solids or metallic text complete with light glints and shimmer.

The intro seems to be a part of HBO's legacy. I notice they sometimes use the swoop-through-the-city in part of their current bumpers.

How's that for historical perspective and technical perspective?

Monday, February 22, 2010

How To: HBO '80s Opening Sequence

If you grew up in the '80s and if you had HBO, then you will recall the opening introduction described below.

Remember that '80s HBO intro where the camera went from a city apartment, through Alec Baldwin's Beetlejuice model, and into space, where the HBO logo was full of lasers? It was pretty great, even when viewed through my home's fuzzy, accidental HBO reception with the knowledge that it would just be followed by another showing of Oh God! You Devil.

Have you ever wondered how that intro montage was created? There is a behind-the-scenes video that you will want to see. Check out more details at I Watch