The Scarlet Pimpernel
I designed, storyboarded, filmed, edited, color-corrected, and designed/animated the typography for this hypothetical title sequence.
Actress and Filming Assistance: Cat McCarthy
Audio: Cinematic Piano and Strings Background Music by The Best-Free Music
The Book/Source Material
The Scarlet Pimpernel
By Baroness Emmuska Orczy
First Published in 1905
“Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.” (Publisher Description)
- Robin Hood-type figure from 1792 - first “hero with a secret identity.”
- British aristrocrat who saves French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French Revolution.
The book/movie begins with the Scarlet Pimpernel getting a group of aristocrats out of France. The title sequence takes place the night before as Sir Percy is making final arrangements. He has sought refuge in a church, but has to flee when guards enter. The action pictured is him writing a note to one of his allies changing the meeting location and then leaving the note of the Scarlet Pimpernel behind.
The sequence will be visually very dark, with the character seen mostly as just a hooded silhouette. The two sources of light will be from a candle on a desk and light coming through an off-screen stained-glass window.
- Show less of the Pimpernel figure to increase the secrecy and mystery surrounding the character
- Remove church setting (it holds too many connotations that may confuse the audience regarding the plot) and keep the environment dark and nondescript to increase the mystery
- Remove guard characters as they are not necessary. It is more descriptive of the character to take his time and casually drink wine before leaving; this demonstrates his nonchalant demeanor and that he is calm under pressure
- Dark, mysterious setting
- Establish time period with props
- Original concept included light from window, final sequence is lit only with candles
Remove unnecessary shots - keep sequence concise
- remove map
- don’t need to show paper being put in pocket
- showing guards finding the note is not needed
Version 2 Updates
Le Monde Livre Std
I like a Serif typeface for the name credits, but I want the logo and position titles to contrast by using a script typeface. None of the first types I looked at had the right hand-written quality. I wanted it to reflect the writing of the note, so I had a better idea of the look for the script typeface after filming.
I like Adorn Garland for the position titles - it contrasts nicely with the Le Monde Livre Std of the names.
For the logo, I like American Scribe better overall (I don’t want it to be the same as the position titles, but to have a unique identity); however, I prefer the “T” and “P” in Adorn Garland.
< Combination of the two typefaces
< Final formatting of logo
writing neatly at that
angle is harder than it looks!
Color Corrected for Consistency
Examples of Shots to Color Match