Saul Bass Essay

855 Words4 Pages
ID: 12U00034 Name: Awais Shabbir Instructor: Mira Hashmi Course: Film Studies SAUL BASS The film titles, the American graphic designer, Saul Bass designed between 1954 and 1995 not only helped bring graphic design to the attention of Hollywood, and to the forefront of the sexties art movements, but revolutionized the way we watch films. From being regarded as an annoying legality – the only way to give credit to the hundreds of people that worked on the set – his minimalistic, conceptual sequences helped film titles became an integral part of the story and ultimately the whole cinematic experience. Despite that Hollywood was struggling, Saul Bass’s migration to Los Angeles in 1947 was a clever career move. It was true that television was stealing a huge portion of Hollywood’s audience. It was true that the government was suing the Hollywood majors for violation of the anti-trust laws – their victory in the 1948 Paramount Case would all but end the studio system that had dominated since the 1920s. Yet it was equally true that these same factors were forcing the majors to turn to people who could create something different. For the first time since the introduction of the Hays Code in 1930, the creatives and not the executives were calling the shots. When the filmmaker Otto Preminger first hired him to design the film titles for the 1954 film Carmen Jones, Bass not only knew that he hired him out of respect for his talent, but that he would give him the freedom to express it. By introducing ideas from the New Swiss Style, Bass made the film title an integral part of the cinema experience. As he stated in the documentary Bass on Titles (2006) he approached each film title with the same three point approach he would use with any other design project. 1. He saturated himself with knowledge of the company. 2. He made sure he understood the vision of the company.
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