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?

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