For the latest documentary in the KOPPEL ON DISCOVERY series, “Living with Cancer,” entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF) created an emotional main title that complements the delicate and personal experiences of the subjects in this special report. Cancer is more common than ever and is an epidemic that will soon pass heart disease as the nation’s biggest killer.
Led by IF Art Director Dana Yee, the main titles combine live-action footage, digital stills and animation to weave together the cancer stories of Lance Armstrong, Elizabeth Edwards and Leroy Sievers, Koppel’s long-time producer and close friend.
“This was an emotional piece for all of us because most people, in one way or another, have been touched by cancer,” explains Dana Yee. “The mood of the piece was that time was limited, but these people were also in a void – living life yet waiting for death. We wanted to capture this emotional fragility by giving it a slight feeling of slow motion.”
The design team shot HD footage of black ink seeping through a variety of fabrics to establish a look for the transitional elements within the piece. Animator Lucien Yang then used After Effects to manipulate the footage to create elegant transitions. Much of the body of the sequence was comprised of photographs. IF brought life to these photographs through rotoscoping and 3D treatment. The 3D moves were timed to evoke the feeling of slow motion so central to the idea of the title.
The shots of Lance Armstrong feature a yellow tint for the “Cancer Survivor” color; Elizabeth Edwards was pink to denote “Breast Cancer;” and Leroy Sievers was black-and-white in keeping with his photojournalistic background.
Through sound bytes and animated photographs, IF’s main title explores the unique experiences of three very active individuals living with cancer.
About Imaginary Forces
IMAGINARY FORCES (IF) is an entertainment and design company based in Hollywood and New York. Its award-winning work spans the diverse industries of feature film production, entertainment marketing and promotion, corporate branding, architecture, advertising and interactive media. IF’s recent work includes identity packages for Lifetime, USA Network, Animal Planet and MTV, as well as effective and compelling broadcast advertising for Nike, Toyota, Pontiac, Smirnoff and Lexus. In entertainment and media marketing, IF created campaigns for such films as National Treasure 2, Transformers, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Stepford Wives, Signs and both Men in Black films. The company also designed and produced main title sequences for The Number 23, Charlotte’s Web, The Messengers, Ray, Spider-Man, and Seven, and produced the highly successful Blade trilogy. Combining architecture and media, IF has developed branded experiences for IBM, Morgan Stanley, Airbus Industries and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The studio is also a principal partner in United Architects (UA), one of six finalists for the re-design of the World Trade Center site at Ground Zero. Combining storytelling, filmmaking and architecture to address the social, emotional, urban, national and international issues, the UA model is now a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. UA recently collaborated on an immersive architectural media exhibit, “Bubbles in the Wine,” for the “New York, New York” exhibition in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The company also designed most of the graphical elements for MTV’s “Virtual Laguna Beach,” based on the popular reality TV series, and created projections for Director Julie Taymor’s operatic production of “Grendel.”
Designed & Produced by Imaginary Forces
Art Director: Dana Yee
Designers: Lucien Yang, Dana Yee
Animator: Lucien Yang
Editor: Peter Johnson
Executive Producer: Maribeth Phillips
Producer: Cara McKenney
Coordinator: Michele Watkins