If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, Nashville, Orange Is the New Black, or Weeds,you’re already familiar with Russell Ziecker’s work. After starting out in the mailroom at Chrysalis Music Group, Russell is now the head of television music at Lionsgate, overseeing music for some of the most popular television shows in the world.
A title sequence doesn’t have to be memorable or inspired or even very good. A title sequence doesn’t have to exist at all, in fact. Plenty of great films just roll credits over establishing shots or black. Which is why when a title sequence does transcend the norm, it becomes something really special. Think Napoleon Dynamite. Think Star Wars’ scrolling paragraphs. These preambles become part and parcel of the whole film: inseparable from our experience or memory of it. Like all forms of filmmaking, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for what makes a title sequence great. Some are serious, some are playful, some are abstract, some are a lie. Whatever form they take, they enhance our experience and understanding of the film or television show that follows. They make a first impression — they set the stage.