SXSW 2022
It takes a community to make and share a great story. SXSW’s festival celebrates that community and dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. That commitment really rang true when our friends at SXSW invited us to create the opening title sequence for the 2022 Film Festival. It's our fourth year collaborating together. This time, we created an anthology or an exquisite corpse with several artists to explore different visual styles that speak to the diversity of films that play at SXSW. There are 14 easter eggs hidden throughout the titles. Can you spot them all?
At the start of the project, Coat of Arms Directors Jonathan Lacocque and Clara Lehmann wrote three concepts for the SXSW team. Descriptions and references are listed in the slides below. Have a look! Which would you have picked?
Ultimately, SXSW loved the idea of showcasing multiple genres of film through style and scene variation. The spreadsheets below show how Jonathan and Clara broke down the various sections by scene, visual description, reference and the film genre that inspired it.  You may also notice a few scenes changed during our title making process.
Initial Animatic

Once we had the detailed outline of the selected concept, Coat of Arms Design Director Ryan Butterworth broke down each section and created a rough animatic of the scenes in Cinema 4D using basic geometry. 
Early animatic with temp music.
We pulled an edit together to give the artists, assigned to each scene, an idea of how long their section was and of the basic flow. The animatic uses Clutch by Power Glove, which Ryan pulled for pace. Having the early animatic allowed us to see how each scene connected to the previous scene. With artists from all over the world, it gave everyone the same starting point.
Here's a break down by section and artist. 

Section 01 - Nature/Documentary Genre
Designer: Nuria Boj, Animator: Mantas Gr
SXSW Films Referenced: "The Dawn Wall" (mountain behind SX logo), "Tread" (bulldozer), & "Well Groomed" (dogs).

Nuria and Mantas started us off on the right foot. Here are some of Nuria's sketches and color studies for our opening scene. Originally built in 2020, you'll notice that we updated the year for the final titles!
Section 02 - VR/Fantasy Genre
Designer/Animator: Nidia Dias

Nidia created a VR tunnel referencing a relatively new category of experiential 'content' at SXSW. She brought her technical expertise with redshift and x-particles to create a hi-tech tunnel. Here are her early styleframes and experiments:
Enjoy a short "Making of" featurette for Nidia's scene:
Section 03 - Thriller Genre
Designer/Animator - Robert Kaniszewski
SXSW Film Referenced: "Us"

Robert pulled many references from the film, "Us" for his section. His material study and asset creation (paper dolls, scissors, stairs, etc.) helped ensure his scene felt similar to the film. You'll find some of the references and process below:
Section 04 - Science Fiction Genre
SXSW Film Referenced: "Life" (Alien terrain and space environment).
Designers/Animators: Florian DKS & Anthony Palermo

Florian created a sci-fi world inspired by the movie "Life" and by Texas terrain, in fact the mountain range was based on Big Bend. He also designed a spaceship out of the "X" in "SXSW." Anthony helped finalize materials and renders. 
Check out this "Making of" edit from Florian:
Section 05 - Adventure Genre
SXSW Films Referenced: "Baby Driver" (floating iPod player) & "Into The Spider-Verse"
Designers/Animators: Ricardo Nilsson & Anthony Palermo

Ricardo designed, rigged, and animated a custom space creature to end the tunnel. He added a texture treatment to nod to "Into the Spider-Verse," which was in the Title Design competition in 2019. The iPod serves as a quiet moment to remind the audience to silence their devices, an Easter egg referencing the movie "Baby Driver."
Below is a rigging test from early in the monster development process:
Section 06 - Romance Genre
Designer/Animator: Terence Ginja-Martinho
SXSW Film Referenced: "My Name is Dorris"

Terence referenced the drama comedy "My Name is Doris" for his section that reminds the audience "no talking, texting or photos." Below are some early sketches and design explorations:
To get the lips right, Terence created this fun reference video:
To help with lip placement, and timing, Terence put together this temp clip:
Section 07 - Horror Genre
Designer/Animator: Ryan Butterworth
Additional Designer: Pierre Emperador
SXSW Film Referenced: A Quiet Place

Ryan pulled references from "A Quiet Place," including the tub, the string lights changing to red, and the silo. He used the theatrical poster for layout reference and fully modeled the scene in 3D along with a fully simulated landscape, corn, and trees.
Below is a wireframe render. The buildings in the background were pre-rendered and applied as textures to cards to speed up render times. A random effector was applied to the leaves to simulate the wind blowing.
Section 08 - Title Design Program at SXSW
Designer/Animator: Ryan Butterworth
SXSW Film Referenced: Westworld (aesthetic)

To celebrate the Westworld titles and our Coat of Arms logo, we chose to celebrate the wooden curves of our horse's bust with elegant, tight shots that slowly the reveal the 3D subject matter. Fitting with the title design theme, we kept it dark and moody to allow space and contrast for legible credits.
Section 09 - Musical & Documentary Genres
SXSW Film Referenced: A Tuba to Cuba (Tubas and voice yells 'Tuba to Cuba!').
Designers/Animators: Klimpa (Max Mörtl & Robert Löbel)

Inspired by "A Tuba for Cuba" this playful stop motion scene was created by Max and Robert. Here is an initial styleframe for the stop motion scene:
Section 10 - Comedy Genre
Designers/Animators: Igor & Valentine (David Stanfield & Matt Smithson)
SXSW Films Referenced: Beach Bum (MoonDog's hat & sunglasses), Booksmart (Lockers), & Pee-Wee's Big Holiday (Pee-Wee's bow). The microphone also references SXSW's Standup Comedy Program.

For the conclusion, David and Matt threw several Easter eggs into their unique and celebratory ending that thanks the volunteers.
And for the final polishing, Matt Stanfield composed a track and Jenna Coyle did the sound design and effects. 

It was a pleasure to work with fine artists all over the world and with the kind folks at SXSW. Enjoy the show!
SXSW VP, Director of Film: Janet Pierson 
SXSW Project Lead: Gabe Van Amburgh 
Creative Direction: Clara Lehmann & Jonathan Lacocque 
Design Direction: Ryan Butterworth 

Design & Animation by Section: 
1. Opening 
Design: Nuria Boj 
Animation: Mantas Gr 

2. Tunnel 
Design & Animation: Nidia Dias 

3. Scissor Carnival 
Robert Kaniszewski 

4. Spaceship 
Design & Animation: Florian DKS 
Additional Design & Animation: Anthony Palermo 

5. Space Monster 
Design & Animation: Ricardo Nilsson 

6. Shhhh 
Design & Animation: Terence Ginja-Martinho 

7. The Rubble 
Design & Animation: Ryan Butterworth 

8. Horse Head 
Design & Animation: Ryan Butterworth 

9. Dance Party 
Design & Animation: Klimpa // Max Moertl & Robert Loebel 

10. Thank You 
Design & Animation: Igor+Valentine // David Stanfield & Matt Smithson

Original Music: Matt Stanfield 
Sound Design & Mix: Jenna Coyle
SXSW 2022

SXSW 2022


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