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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in Animation (1)


    "CHIEF EXEC": The Mad Men Opening Sequence, Featuring President Obama

    In anticipation of AMC's season premiere of "Mad Men", we feature our own version of the opening starring President Barack Obama on Sunday's The Chris Matthews Show. Titled, "Chief Exec", our homage to the iconic sequence features Obama cascading past his rivals and the issues that may complicate his reelection in 2012. Click the thumbnail for hi-rez versions of the below screenshots and watch the video at the bottom of this post:








    In making this 2012-themed interpretation, the Oval Office was paired down to its most recognizable pieces of furniture and then re-assembled in Photoshop by our graphic artist Colleen Clapp, who carefully cut out the items so each could be moved as a separate layer. The bulk of the graphic and the animation work was completed by Rodney Turner, who went through the original Mad Men opening shot by shot, rendering each building in Cinema 4D and then adding the broadside images on the buildings. The silhouette was recreated to match President Obama's profile (emphasis on his ears, and the fact that Obama is seemingly slimmer than the Draper outline we're used to) and then, to boot, Obama was animated to make him look more lifelike as he descends: " the Obama limbs actaully move, which was accomplished using the puppet tool in After Effects." Below are some screenshots showcasing the complexity of the project, including AfterEffects, Cinema 4D and Photoshop:


    Robert Bruce created the music from scratch to match the harmony and cues of the original: "it was all created specifically for this project...  nothing directly pulled from the original." The new theme music even includes a "Hail to the Chief" motif that you may recognize if you listen closely: "the melody will sound familiar but somehow a little off because the original 'Hail to the Chief' is written in a major key, and in order to effectively communicate a darker tone, it needed to be transcribed into a minor key."

    See how it all came together: