We conceptualised and designed the title sequence for the film. The primary aesthetic we were exploring was the concept of memories, specifically memories which are influenced by PTSD. We explored our visuals in a state of unravel, and of destruction. We wanted there to be a softness of sensitivity, yet also balanced with the aggression of combat. The sequence also needed to provide some narrative details, to establish our characters and the teams they fought within, which were imperative to the forthcoming story. This went through several iterative processes as we balanced the weight of information necessary for setting the viewer up for the story, with setting the tone creatively. As the narrative of the film progressed, we were able to strip back the informational side of the sequence.
Furthermore, we also needed to visualise key moments from the film to include in the title sequence, for which archive was not available. Design director, Allison Brownmoore, explains, “One of the key moments for one of the American Teams was when they liberated one of the Afghan cities in the north. They did this on horseback! There’s an incredible quote where one of the soilders describes this moment, it’s quite poetic. When we heard this we knew we couldn’t rely on substandard archive to visualise such a poignant moment. After researching maps and the terrain, we created our own overhead terrain map and created a 3D projection map of this in Flame. Using archive as reference, we then created twenty individual variations of Afghan and American soldiers riding horseback from an aerial perspective. Initially these riders were animated using the Adobe Creative Suite, however found the additional movement was less impactful than sweeping shots from above. We use the finished shot in the title sequence and a more substantial sequence in the film itself, and were really pleased with the final result. ”