Josh Sahley, founder and creative director of LA-based Monkeyhead, has collaborated with the executives from Trainjump and Red Bull on several projects over the past year. Specifically for this project, Papanicolaou presented Sahley and his colleagues a two-fold assignment: first, to create a cinematic opening title sequence for “The Massive” showcasing and introducing the featured skiers, and next, to create a second, more broadcast-style opening for “Making Of: The Massive,” a forthcoming episodic TV series.
True to his standard approach of commissioning specific artistic teams for individual assignments, Sahley brought in well-known LA designer and animator Anthony Furlong to serve as art director, and also added artists David Silvers and Anthony Hurd to his project team.
"Their goal was to make this stand out over anything else and become the benchmark for its genre," Sahley said. “Ever since seeing the movie ‘Se7en,’ I’ve been fascinated with the art form of movie titles, so when we were invited to be a part of this project, I jumped all over it,” Sahley said.
“We were given some free range to bring something new to the table. After going over tons of movie openers and action sport openers, we started boarding up the concept. Our goal was to give it different sections that flowed together and kept it visually interesting.”
In the main title sequence for “The Massive,” viewers see many distinct worlds. After first descending into a live-action shot of Hall's eye, an animated version of the inner brain path appears and opens up into the movie's title, which fills with ice.
Next, an ice chamber presents the featured skiers inside an icy world, before leading to an artistically rendered continuous shot of skiers ripping their way down a mountain. At the end, a partially finished base area appears on a digital grid, along with the last opening credits.