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Wowie

designer: Florina Titz and Craig Webster10 comments

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The first edition of South by Southwest's (SXSW) Excellence in Title Design competition resulted in 18 strong finalists. Wowie's stood out because of its original idea combined with a lo-fi, analogue approach – somewhat reminiscent of the title sequences of Ex Drummer and – one of Craig's favorites – Napoleon Dynamite (over at Art of the Title).

Wowie (stills)

Directors Florina Titz and Craig  Webster put quite a bit thought in the title sequence. Remarkable, considering that Wowie is an indie short, shot on 16mm and made on a tiny budget.

How important is a title sequence for an indie film?
“Especially in indie film it seems to me that people don't pay enough attention to credits as they should be,” says Florina Titz. “Often times it appears that big production films have amazing titles, while independent films lazy their way out of having interesting titles – I think both are equally responsible for having great titles, regardless of the budget.”

“Especially when working with film like 16mm you are forced to think creatively instead of laying a Final Cut Pro default font plate at the end. I think fonts are such an important part of the look of the movie. It is interesting to me how fonts can be either “bad” or “good” for no apparent reason.

How did you come up with the idea to use the body of the main character as a canvas for the credits?
Craig Webster: “Wowie is played by Luther Bangert. We began with the idea of writing "Wowie" on Luther's hand. It seemed natural to follow the ink-on-skin trajectory to the rest of his body, and we had a lot of fun trying out ideas and finding new places to display names. For instance, the back bend title for the Director of Photography was created on the spot. Luther said, "I can do a back bend," and we wrote the titles upside down and shot it.

“We were particularly interested in filming his body at uncomfortably close distances... In part because Luther's body is well-shaped and fascinating to observe. He's a circus performer and loves yoga. But also, because it echoes the claustrophobic atmosphere of the film – the titles are written on the inside of his thighs, his chest, his back – parts of the body that are intimate and revealing. At one point, Florina suggested that we write the title, "Wowie," on his penis. Maybe next time.

THE COMPLETE SHORT FILM, WOWIE PT 1


Article: Remco Vlaanderen, © Submarine Channel, 6 April 2010.

Year of production

2010

Title designer

more about Florina Titz and Craig Webster

About Florina Titz and Craig Webster

Florina Titz and Craig Webster

Florina Titz has been awarded a Fellowship at the University of Iowa Film and Video Production department. She is currently working an a web series with fellow MFA, Craig Webster.

Craig Webste
r is currently writing and shooting "Wowie," a series of short film installments about a delusional postman. He also acts as the sole character in the web-series "DaiDaiiRo".

more about Florina Titz and Craig Webster

Full credits

Florina Titz: “Craig shot the title sequence and I wrote it on Luther's body with a Sharpie.”
Actor
Luther Bangert

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Comments (10):

7 Apr 10 • by: Bobby
Wow.... REALLY?!

This is supposed to win an Excellence award?

I see what they're doing in Europe, South America and Asia and this is what America can do?

I beg to differ, I thought the direction the lighting, the cinematography, the art direction, the editing was OFF!

In my opinion this was an awful video and should have not have been noted.

If this is the best that SXSW can do, than I feel sorry for America's future. We are definitely losing our edge.

You can delete my post or flame me if I stepped on your sensitivities but that's not really going to do anything, just watch the video again and tell me that my post was not justified. SHEESH!

8 Apr 10 • by: Remco
It's fine of you don't like this title sequence. But next time you comment may I suggest you come up with some intelligent arguments why these titles shouldn't be on this site.

"Wowie" was one of 18 finalists. It didn't win. But all 18 were strong. This was the only one that was made on a very low budget and I think it's entertaining and unusual and befitting the movie.

Just hope that there are others out there who disagree with you.

8 Apr 10 • by: Bobby
I already did come up with several reasons why this title should not have been a FINALIST and hence on this site: bad art direction, bad lighting, bad cinematography, bad editing.

I have seen MANY student films done on low/ no budget and so I am immune against the argument that because this title was done on a low-budget it should be spared criticism. No excuses.

This title was just not that great. I'm sorry. And like I said in my previous post, if this was a finalist than I truly do feel sorry for the state of the arts in America. We're losing our edge. Period.

8 Apr 10 • by: remco

That's a rather dramatic conclusion. about the "state of the arts in America".

You might like Zombieland. It won at SXSW - an American title sequence (linked to it above). Or Earthwork, Jury Award - American too. Not online yet.

I appreciate your comments, Bobby, even though I obviously don't agree with you. Period.

9 Apr 10 • by: Bobby
Well Remco,

You seem to be rather invested in this particular Title.

Are you perhaps the Craig? Or maybe Florina?

What IS your opinion on this here title sequence? Do you think it deserves accolades? Do you think it should win a freakin Academy Award? Answer the question.

I have seen student work better than this. When I see a work that's of questionable quality and it's a finalist at SXSW than perhaps it really is time to question the "state of Arts" in America.

You can reply back with whatever you like, but the creatives over in Asia, Europe and South America will produce better material. So it's your loss. I'm just trying to bring notice to the fact that we need better quality and not make some BS excuse as to why a 10th grade title sequence should deserve to win an film award.

9 Apr 10 • by: Another Remco
At first when I saw this, the sequence felt somewhat off to me also. But after seeing the film and these end credits I thought it was much better. It just felt right when seen after the movie, within context.

11 Apr 10 • by: Remco the Third
I don't understand your investment in *making sure* we don't like this either. So you didn't like it. And the state of American Indie Cinema is apocalyptic.

What are you doing about it, other than trolling this site?

29 Jul 10 • by: P
So Remco are you saying that Bobby should be trying to save the industry instead of being on the internets all the time?

How do you know he's not?

22 Oct 10 • by: Frankie
hahaha I love that someone is so angry over the fact they don't like one title sequence that they are going to fight bitterly about it.

Before they ask, No I haven't seen this film OR am I connected with it.

I felt the musical choice fit the images well, I liked the sequence and I liked the simplicity of it. Not everything has to be complicated to work. This felt organic and I liked it.

1 Nov 11 • by: Johnetta
Back in scohol, I'm doing so much learning.