Posted in Animation, Chapter 1, Chapter 5, Chapter 8, Media Literacy, tagged Alfred Hitchcock, Cartoon Modern, Jennifer Bass, Mad Men, Martin Scorsese, media literacy, Psycho, Richard Lester, Saul Bass, Vertigo on January 3, 2012|
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Poster created from iconic images by artist Saul Bass
Just recently a definitive, in-depth book on the design work of artist Saul Bass has been released: Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design (by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham). Bass was a true media innovator and through his work one can observe the synergy between text, composition, color, movement, and other visual elements at the core of effective communication.
Bass’s work has provided inspiration for generations of design professionals, advertisers, and filmmakers. The dynamism of his designs were key as filmmakers invigorated the function and importance of title sequences in movies, and his work helped to usher in the mid-century modern style that has seen a renaissance in recent years, from advertising to graphic novels to animation.
Bass’s storyboard for the infamous and extremely influential shower murder scene from Psycho is highlighted in Chapter 1 of Moving Images (see Figure 1-36). The half-hour movie Bass on Titles provides a good overview of his work and viewpoints on the craft of movie titles, such as his groundbreaking work for a number of Alfred Hitchcock films (such as Psycho, Vertigo, and North by Northwest), Scorsese movies (including Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and The Age of Innocence), and many others including The Man with the Golden Arm and Cowboy. His work can provide examples for many aspects of the essential questions in Moving Images, including motion picture forms in Chapter 5 and the full production process in Chapter 8.
As a final point, Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design features a superb foreword by Martin Scorsese – to add to the list of his exceptional work in this vein, including the moving piece he wrote for the DVD release of the Beatles’ movie Help, directed by Richard Lester.
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