April 14, 2014

Breaking Down The Title Sequence For MAD MEN

The Washington Post did a fun video breakdown of the title sequence of MAD MEN, as it started its 7th and final season last night. This was part of a longer story in the Arts section about how, in the current golden age of television, it's also a golden age for title sequences as well.

The iconic MAD MEN opening started with an idea by creator Matthew Weiner that was originally going to be live action and not animation. It would have followed the real life Don Draper on his daily commute from the 'burbs and into Manhattan, up to his office where he would then proceed to jump out the window. The falling-man element stayed but the rest became much more impressionistic while still making clear the 1960s setting (utilizing period snapshots) and the advertising milieu (with large ads projected on the buildings).

A great deal of thought and production goes into these 1-2 minute segments that become essential for setting the tone of the show and also branding the content too. The article states how in these days of DVR-ing people rarely fast-forward through them, appreciating the effort and artistry of the titles. In addition to MAD MEN, I personally love the time lapses of DC that start each episode of HOSUE OF CARDS on an ominous note. Anyway, here's the segment below from PostTV which breaks down MAD MEN.