Thursday, October 18, 2007

Psycho Shower Scene Controversy
Let's continue our Saul Bass kick for one more posting. The well-known graphic designer famous for the AT&T logo and the opening title sequences of several of Alfred Hitchcock's films (and a lot more--too much to list here!), created the storyboard art for Hitchcock's Psycho shower scene.

Paul Martin Lester writes in Visual Communications: Images with Messages that Hitchcock invited Bass to direct the famous Psycho shower scene (p. 154). Imagine that! The scene that epitomizes the Master of Suspense's sixty-year career; the sequence synonymous with the name "Hitch;" one of the greatest scenes in movie history, directed by someone else--albeit one of the most well-known graphic designers in history. I believed it; after all, graphic design is more than simply putting images on paper. On a deeper level, it involves "visual thinking," translating communications into graphic media. The shower sequence conveys a strong sense of terror and shock, without showing gore, as most of today's movies do.

I recently found this web page created by Dr. Glen Johnson, English professor and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Catholic University of America. Johnson notes that Bass had made the assertion that he directed the famous shower scene after Hitchcock's death. Both actor Janet Leigh and assistant director Hilton Green refute Bass's assertion. A comparison of Bass's storyboards with the completed scene reveals a few differences, indicating Bass did not direct the sequence.

This, of course, takes nothing away from my personal admiration of Bass's work, but the Psycho shower scene could only have been directed by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Movie Title Sequences
Feeling a bit disappointed that the website in the previous posting didn't showcase any movie opening titles by the great Saul Bass, I've linked to some of his opening sequences that I found posted on YouTube, instead. I've included Casino, thanks to Francis's suggestion. And who could forget the work of Maurice Binder, renowned for his opening title sequences of all the pre-Brosnan 007 movies.

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho by Saul Bass
Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder by Saul Bass
Ocean's Eleven by Saul Bass
Martin Scorsese's Casino by Elaine and Saul Bass
Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo by Saul Bass
Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can by Kuntzel Deygas
Dr. No by Maurice Binder

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Forget the Film, Check Out the Titles
Check out this cool website devoted to celebrating the creativity of movie opening titles. Saul Bass should have a lot of great stuff in there.