Jeremy Cox's profile

Mad Men Opening Titles

Motion Graphics
After Effects
Mad Men
Main Title / Role: Designer & Animator
I had been at Imaginary Forces for less than a year when I had the opportunity to work on the iconic title sequence for the AMC show Mad Men. We thought the show would probably be good, but had no idea how culturally significant the titles would become.

The initial concept had already been approved when I joined the team, so my role was to take the Saul Bass inspired frames by Steve Fuller and Mark Gardner, and both continue to explore design and typography, as well as help establish the animation style.
One of my contributions was to figure out how to make the CG character (created by Jason Goodman and Jordan Sariego in Softimage ) look less... CG. I came up with an After Effects setup that would add a rough hand made quality, as if were being cell animated or cut from paper. I also pushed cycling grunge textures through a lighting pass, giving the character subtle depth without it looking digital.
The biggest section I tackled was the opening office. The original storyboards didn't include this moment of normalcy, and instead started with the character already falling. Thus, the office was largely designed in animation, going through a number of revisions and collaborating with Mark Gardner to arrive at the final look.

Except for the character animation, everything in the sequence was created in After Effects, even the office breaking apart and the buildings he is falling through. In retrospect this was a very inefficient way of doing it, but we were using the tools we knew, and I think the limitations of After Effects actually forced a simplicity that resulted in a more timeless piece.

Fabian Tejada was instrumental in animating and compositing much of the sequence, in particular figuring out the look of the buildings and imagery the figure is falling through. 
For the airing of the final episode in May of 2015, we created a mashup of all the parodies, homages, and rip-offs people had created over the previous 7 seasons.

Produced by Imaginary Forces

Directors: Mark Gardner, Steve Fuller
Executive Producer: Maribeth Phillips
Producer: Cara McKenney
Coordinator: Michele Watkins
Designers: Jeremy Cox, Fabian Tejada, Joey Salim
Animators: Fabian Tejada, Jason Goodman, Jeremy Cox, Jordan Sariego
Editor: Caleb Woods
Mad Men Opening Titles

Mad Men Opening Titles