Imaginary Forces Feels the Love for ‘The Break-Up’

Love is swell! Especially when you have lots of photos to document how your affection has grown for each other. Imaginary Forces (IF) recently designed the whimsical main title sequence for the Universal Pictures comedy “The Break-Up” starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as a couple who is doing just that. Working closely with Director Peyton Reed, Executive Producer Peter Billingsley, and Producer Vince Vaughn, IF Creative Director Brian Mah created the main titles, which weave together photographs to establish the couple’s loving relationship prior to the break up.

“The break up happens early on in the movie so the onus was on the title sequence to tell the story of this couple getting along for a two-year period,” explains Director Peyton Reed. “As soon as the sequence finishes, people have to relate to these characters and understand what the nature of their relationship was like through these normal photos. The challenge was to create an open that was simple and real in its storytelling, but wasn’t visually dull. Imaginary Forces did a great job in figuring out the best way to coordinate these stills and to bring kinetic movement and interactivity to them.”

The main title sequence opens with a clip of Gary and Brooke at a baseball game on one of their first dates and then segues into fun and poignant photo moments as their relationship develops. The filmmakers wanted a simple intro that would draw the audience’s focus to the content of the photos with graphics playing a secondary role. To maintain a sense of authenticity, some 600+ stills were taken during the actual film shoot since Aniston and Vaughn were on-set together and in character. IF’s Brian Mah and his team then determined the best way to build a narrative of their relationship out of the photos.

IF also included transitions between photographs to create a panning effect around the couple’s photo collection instead of a slideshow presentation feel. Since the stills were taken digitally, some compositing was involved to make them appear to be tactile photos with bent edges and more texture.

Release Date: June 2, 2006

Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director / Art Director: Brian Mah
Art Director: Dan Meehan
Producer: Kathy Kelehan
Designers: Brian Mah, Dan Meehan, Joan Lau, Ronnie Koff
2D Animators: Dan Meehan, Juan Monasterio, Orlando Costa, Sean Koriakin, Drew Tyndell, Brian Weaver
Editor: Danielle White, Jeff Gornbein
Flame Artists: Nick Rubenstein, Rod Basham, Matt Spencer
Coordinator: Alyssa Evans

Studio: Universal Studios

About Imaginary Forces
Founded in 1996, Imaginary Forces (IF) is an award-winning entertainment and design agency based in Los Angeles and New York. Its work spans the diverse industries of advertising, interactive media, feature film production and marketing, corporate branding and architecture. IF has done effective and compelling marketing communications work for Lexus, Pontiac, Nike, Herman Miller, Reebok, GMC, and Smirnoff, and produced network re-branding and identity packages for USA, Animal Planet and Lifetime. Its main titles and entertainment marketing credits for film and TV include The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, Ray, Spider-Man, Seven, The Legend of Zorro, The Chronicles of Narnia, Angels in America and Band of Brothers. Original film content created by IF includes all three of the Blade films and the plot-integral prevision sequences in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Fusing architecture and media, IF has created branded experiences for BMW, MoMA, Morgan Stanley, Wynn Las Vegas, IBM, and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Most recently, the company designed and created projections for Director Julie Taymor’s operatic production of “Grendel.”

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