The Little Death is an Australian comedy by Director Josh Lawson, about four suburban couples and their various kinky proclivities. The sexual neuroses of the characters are far from one-dimensional, and so the challenge of the titles was to succinctly convey a very complicated combination of emotions.
Originally pitched as an opening title rather than a main-on-end, we proposed a sequence that meshed the seriousness and humour of the fetishes by viewing them through the device of a textbook filled with definitions, diagrams, and illustrations, with credits and references sprinkled throughout. The textbook, as an attempt at objectivity, allows us moments of humour without personal judgement: an impersonal view of deeply personal issues.
We aimed for a style that was simple and matter-of-fact, with nods to Ikea manuals and airline safety cards – right down to the vacant or random expressions often seen in such illustrations. The limited colour palette and warm pink glow illuminating the darkness was set very early on in pitch, and subsequently applied to the opening titles, interstitials, and end credits.
The sequence rapidly summarises the concept of la petite mort, giving an overview of some of the fetishes in the movie, introduces us to cast and crew, skims over some case studies, features some clues from the storyline, and has a lot of fun with some potentially difficult material.