We created the title sequence for We Are X, which premiered Sundance 2016 and has since won the SXSW Excellence in Title Design Audience Award. The film explored the eclectic world of Japanese band, X Japan.
Our brief, from director Stephen Kijak, was to respond to the band’s early slogan, “Psychedelic Violence Crime of Visual Shock.” We dove headfirst into the incredible world of the band, with their exceptionally rich range of archive they had documented throughout the years.
We knew from the early stages that the title sequence needed to be beautiful, whilst playing with the balance between the hard exterior and the soft interior. Whilst the images needed to resonate, there needed to be an element of vulnerability to it. There had to be beauty because it wasn’t gratuitous shock, it was supposed to be quite meaningful. And it wasn’t a masculine energy, it felt more feminine.
Using a combination of archive, purposefully shot material and stock, we created the sequence in AFX and Flame over a period of a few months and delivered to the LA based edit.
Motion Design Blue Spill
Design Director Allison Brownmoore
Flame Artist Anthony Brownmoore
Motion Designers Joe Nowacki Sylvain Doussa
Blue Spill created several in film sequences for We Are X, which premiered Sundance 2016 and has since screened at various festivals and cinemas worldwide. We also designed the title sequence which won the SXSW Excellence in Title Design Audience Award, more of which you can read about here.
The following sequence, titled Art of Life, was designed during the edit. Director Stephen Kijak approached us for a solution to the sequence, which wasn’t quite meeting the visual extravagance for which X Japan are renowned. We took our inspiration from Marilyn Manson’s interview which precedes the interview, “You exorcise your demons, or you exercise with your demons.” At the point where X Japan launch into their song, we plummet the viewer under the stage, into an underworld. In this space we see X playing on stage amongst their demons, with their bodies stripped of skin, exposing their muscular skeletons. For the sequence we recut the concert footage, graded the images and composited nineteen demons into an array of shots. We then shoot back up to the stage, where we enter the incongruity of X’s world, pain is now pleasure.