Exploring the Titles of Nat Geo’s Facing

We were very proud to work on Facing – a National Geographic documentary series about history’s global, iconic and notorious individuals, and the people that dared go against them.

Icons featured in the series include Donald Trump, Pablo Escobar, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

INSPIRED BY HISTORY

The title sequence of Facing dives through archive photography, sifting through images of history’s biggest figures in microform style, bathed in darkroom red.

The Sequence Group’s approach to such titles is always the same: understand the tone and underlying themes of the show, work out the best way to present them in visual form, and then deliver style frames that present the aesthetic to the client.

In this case, the opening titles were created in collaboration with Network Entertainment for National Geographic. The show’s creator Derik Murray initially presented specific references, which Sequence discussed internally before tailoring the pitches to fit the show’s content and tone. The team created style frames and animation tests to show the client their ideas before progressing to production.

BEAT MATCHING

Network Entertainment supplied Sequence with the imagery to animate After Effects, and also handled legal clearance. While some images had specific usage restrictions – and therefore couldn’t be altered – Sequence was given free reign to integrate most images to match its vision.

A modular approach was taken to the titles, enabling the show’s editor to easily rearrange imagery for each episode, matching it to the theme of the personality in question. A simple pace and rhythm ensured that each section was flexible in this regard, allowing imagery to be swapped out while still matching the beats in the music.

UNDERSTANDING FACING

The result was an engaging trip through personalized history of each of Facing’s icons, in a format that allowed the showrunners to get creative in the editing suite. That’s the way we like to work – combining flexibility with an artistic touch.