West Side Story: The Title Credits

Features / 08 August 2005

Click to advance images

Vibrant orange fills the entire screen. Specifically placed vertical bars strew the composition—an abstract form, yet strangely representative. The static image is in service to a ripely varied overture; as the “mood” of the score changes the color follows suit. The kaleidoscope culminates in a blue frame, and pulls backward to reveal the film title below. The image segues to an aerial shot of Manhattan, and the source of the vertical pattern is confirmed.

This simplistic sequence is an exemplary use of color, and is complementary to the accompanying overture. Perhaps more so than any other example in Bass’ catalogue, this is a wholly dependent exercise. Likewise, Leonard Bernstein’s score is complimented invaluably by the visual treatment. In unison, the visual and aural elements import the title of the film with resounding significance—the abstract bars, even, resemble a perforated music roll.

Rumsey Taylor | © 2005 notcoming.com

Credits

Feature by
Rumsey Taylor

Related Articles

Features
Titles Designed by Saul Bass