The main titles for Showtime’s new dramedy—On Becoming A God in Central Florida, starring Kirsten Dunst—manage to capture and sync a multitude of themes in a very short time.
First, there’s ‘90s teal and hot pink that forms the sequence’s overall palette.
Next, there’s Central Florida, which has a specific vibe of gators, palm trees and flamingos that’s different than that of, say, South Beach.
And finally, there’s multi-level marketing, which includes such fun phrases as “If you can dream it, you can do it!” and “Visualize. Strategize. Actualize” all captured on cassette decks people packed into briefcases and listened to as they commuted to and from their actual jobs while dreaming about living better lives.
The creatives at Sony’s Creative Center managed to pack all of this into just a 40-second main-title sequence, telling viewers a bit about what they need to know about the show, its central character and its overall setting.
“Central Florida in the ‘90s, which is not to be confused with beach-y Miami, was down and dirty,” said Camille Chu, executive creative director at Sony Creative Center who oversaw production on the sequence. “Kirsten plays a single mother who works at a water park. She buys in on this pyramid scheme just for survival.”
The main-title sequence is one of the first projects out of Sony Creative Center, which was formed more than a year ago to handle as many of Sony’s creative needs as possible, which includes all things entertainment marketing, such as campaigns, promo toolkits, key art, main titles, social media and so forth. Essentially, Sony Creative Center is set up to act like a creative agency within the larger global entity of Sony Pictures Television.
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“We are working to set a standard within the Creative Center to really show people within Sony ecosystem what our capabilities are,” Chu said.
To create these main titles, the team had access to and worked closely with the showrunners, who were producing the series right across the Sony lot in Culver City, as well as with star and executive producer Dunst.
“It was an advantage for us to have proximity to the showrunners across the street,” said Marc Juon, creative director at Sony Creative Center. “We felt like we were close to the show before we began concepting.”
Chu, Juon and their team showed producers and executives five or six creative directions and concepts until it was finally narrowed down to the one they went with: the vision board.
“They liked the idea of creating this twisted vision board,” Juon said, with its motivational phrases like “Stinker Thinker,” “success is a craving” and “you are on your way.”
Once the concept was decided upon, the team only had a few weeks to execute the final product. With a lot of stakeholders involved, that included a lot of rounds of approvals, but it’s the kind of work they all love.
“We as designers all love the art of the main title,” said Chu. “We feel like when you have a main title that’s more developed—it almost becomes a piece of art as opposed to a piece of marketing.”
On Becoming A God in Central Florida premieres Sunday, Aug. 25 on Showtime. Key art is below.
Agency: Sony Creative Center
SVP, Brand Creative: Kasumi Mihori
Vice President, Creative: Glenn Bartlett
Executive Director of Production: Tony Saccoccio
Senior Producer: Julia Torchine
Executive Creative Director: Camille Chu
Creative Director: Marc Juon
Art Director/Lead Animator: Andrew Kinsler
Designer/Illustrators: Mindy Park, Ryan Smith, MK Fabila
Animators: Yeon Jin Kim, James McDaniels, Dakota Hopkins
Sony Pictures Television: Jason Clodfelter, Jeffrey Glaser, Hilarie Holt
TriStar TV: Hannah Minghella, Stacy Mandelberg
Showtime: Brendan Countee, Gary Levine, Amy Israel
Smoke House Pictures: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Rebecca Arzoian, Michael Finfer
Executive Producers: Robert Funke, Matt Lutsky, Esta Spalding, Kirsten Dunst
Co-Producer: Guinevere McPherson