The Untitled Robot Project — Post 09

In which there are new, very different frames…


This is the 9th post in the project so if you’re coming to it fresh, you may want to see how I got here. If so, here’s the Kickoff, WIP 01,WIP 02, WIP 03, WIP 04 & WIP 05, WIP 06 & WIP 07 & WIP 08.

The short version of all those links is that I’m concepting, art directing & designing main title styleframes for a feature film. I’m a designer & art director currently working in broadcast television & I’d like to do more film & higher-concept work. This project is me doing that for all the world to watch.

The First Frames

I liked the first frames, even as I could tell they were first-round work.

A sampling of the first round.

I had a vision of where I thought these would go & I was pretty excited, until I watched the opening cinematic for Destiny.

Pretty amazing, right? And the end graphic section is pretty much exactly where I would have been happy to take my own frames.

The frames I pulled (below) do a great job both evoking the past and suggesting a future. I don’t know that they’re timeless, but they speak to multiple timelines, suggesting that where we’re going is intimately tied to where we’ve been — and that our future has much more to do with our past than we might imagine.

Plus they’re just lovely.

Destiny opening cinematic, directed by Ilya V. Abulkhanov & Simon Clowes & illustrated by Christian Antolin.
Destiny opening cinematic, directed by Ilya V. Abulkhanov & Simon Clowes & illustrated by Christian Antolin.

Back to the Drawing Board

I really didn’t to, unintentionally or not, rip-off Destiny. And now that I’d seen it, it was going to be hard to avoid it. Still, there are things about both my first round & about the Destiny cinematic that resonated for me. So I dived into some more reference-pulling & spent some time with a sketchbook thinking about my titles. Then I made more frames.

‘From the beginning we’ve longed to go to the stars.’
‘Our first explorers…’
‘…navigated by them.’
‘Our wisemen & women told stories about them.’
‘Our scientists & philosphers have tried to explain them.’
‘Now we stop simply looking.’
‘Wrylon Robotical, coming soon.’

There’s a lot I like about these, though they’re far from final. Narratively, I’m missing a card or two in the sequence. The IP and story I’m telling, or at least teasing, are mine, so there’s no built-in recognition I can draw on. I need to be a bit more clear, especially in the conclusion, about what the frames are saying. I enjoy using expository type but if I’m going to hang my hat on it, I need it to work a bit harder.

Design-wise, I think I’m playing in a thematically similar place to the Destiny spot but with different references. The Destiny spot hearkens back to old maps, ‘here there be monsters’ and the age of wind-powered exploration. With my frames, I’m trying to reference some more contemporary optimism — vaguely mid-century modern & constructivist design. Some frames are more successful than others & they don’t entirely hang together as a set yet, but I see how they can.

Next Steps

More design. I want to take visual break from these & come back to them in a day or two with fresh eyes. If I still like them, then it’s time to refine them, add in the missing frames & make them all work in concert.

After that…well, there’s a lot more still. See the previous posts but I’ll be diving back into 3d soon & working on a second set of frames.

I’m open to all notes & thanks for tuning in.


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