Raise a Glass's co-founder, Nicholas Conner, came to me with a request: he needed a title sequence for a series of one-minute short films he was creating. He also wanted comic book-style intros for the characters in the first film of the series, featuring a Ukranian hero.
The title sequence
Nicholas suggested a comic book-style aesthetic, which fit perfectly with the illustration style and typeface of the new Raise a Glass logo. He also requested that the title template be customizable: each intro should have the text "A true story of an everyday _____ hero," with the blank being animated to fill in the subject of the short.
I went with a comic book-inspired halftone texture, animating a wine glass that turns into the Raise a Glass logo. For most of the text, I used a free typeface from Google Fonts called Sofia Sans Extra Condensed, which is reminiscent of the condensed text often displayed in the credits at the bottom of movie posters. I also used the Knewave typeface for the text that fills in the blank -- that's the typeface used in Raise a Glass's logo. Together, these elements fused the filmic and comic qualities of the Raise a Glass series of shorts.
The character intros
Raise a Glass's first film depicted the legend of a Ukranian grandmother who downed a Russian drone by throwing a jar of tomatoes at it from her apartment window. For this dramatization, he needed comic book-style introductions for each of the three main characters: the Russian drone, the tomato jar, and the Ukranian woman.
As the villain of the story, the drone required a character introduction that set the tone as an enemy. I faded the video backdrop into a halftone pattern overlaid with red and a subtle "Z" -- the militarist symbol appearing on Russian vehicles used in the invasion on Ukraine. The character name zoomed in from both sides, giving it a dynamic and stylized feel.
Next up was the jar of tomatoes. I used the same animation style, but without the ominous red used for the drone:
And lastly, as the woman raises a toast with a glass of wine, we introduce her as the hero of this film. Given the political overtones of the story, I animated two paint strokes in the colors of the Ukranian flag before the "everyday hero" title text swooshes in:
That's all, folks!
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