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Jamie Caliri interview

designer: Jamie Caliri • studio: DUCK • 4 comments

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Main Title director Jamie Caliri won an Emmy award for Outstanding Main Title Design for his United States of Tara title sequence in 2009. We interviewed him earlier that year in L.A. about the making of that sequence and about his love for stop motion animation. And Caliri explains what's so great about Woody Allen's title sequences. (7 min.).

First in a series of video interviews with Main Title designers recorded at the Flux/Forget the Film, Watch the Titles event at the Hammer Museum, L.A.

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more about Jamie Caliri

About Jamie Caliri

Jamie Caliri

Jamie Caliri

Jamie Caliri was born in 1970. After studying Animation and Filmmaking at Cal Arts, he directed several commercials and logo treatments in the early to mid 1990's. In the late 1990's Caliri left animation behind, for some time at least, to direct live action music videos for the likes of Marcy Playground. Caliri directed the 1997 promo for Morphine's 'Early To Bed', which earned him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Live Action Music Video.

Caliri's influential animated end credit sequence for Lemony Snicket's - A Series of Unfortunate Events remains in the top 5 of the "most viewed title sequences" on Watch The Titles. In 2009, Jamie Caliri and his creative team were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design for the titles of HBO's TV series United States of Tara, which we also featured. Another highlight in his career is the stop motion animated commercial 'Dragon' for United Airlines (on

In 2009, Caliri joined Garcon Yu, Kyle Cooper, Karin Fong, and Danny Yount to present his title work at our Watch the Titles event in the Hammer Museum in L.A.

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Remco Vlaanderen

Paul de Heer

Madelinde Hageman, Raoul Matheron

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Recorder at
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, May 2009

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Comments (4):

29 Jul 09 • by: motion09
Kudos to the team at watchthetitles! Great interview! I'm a huge fan of Jamie Caliri. For those who are also fans, Jamie will be speaking at motion09 this year ( While you're at it, check out the recent article on Jamie's nomination for an Emmy.

29 Jul 09 • by: Jorrit
Really nice done. Hope this one isn't gonna be the last!!

1 Aug 09 • by: xpez2000
nice commentary.

In regards to the BR and WA film titles. More often than not, the choices for those sequences back in the eighties and seventies were made from circumstances of the production and less from a big creative decisions. circumstances like budget, time, available technology, kind of drive those simple optical type title sequences...Also that period in title design was more or less a kind of down period. So my point is this, it's easy to look back on those simple title sequences and admire and overlay a brillant genius upon them...but I believe those were choices that were made based on the huge constraints placed on the title designer, who would have loved to do something extremely more imaginative. I know because I have worked with people that worked on titles during that period and they told me so.

Anyway...using a serif typeface(Garamond?? LOL ) for a futuristic movie such as Blade Runner always bugged me. Also the kerning between the type in these movies is so horrible and dated. But anyone who couldn't acknowledge that really isn't a title designer at all.

A title designer is someone who makes use of THE TYPE (the titles) in an interesting and appropriate way. I expect a title designer to talk about the nuance of the typeface and how it relates to the movie.

1 Aug 09 • by: Kfiine
In 1991, a 35mm dup of a 70mm early cut of Blade Runner screened in LA. As I recall, this early cut had a different title sequence. I remember a main title converging in the center of the screen with a more futuristic look. I recall thinking it appeared dated (1982). I was relieved they decided to keep it simple in the end.

Even if Caliri isn’t a type guy, His work stands on different terms. The Lemony Snicket’s titles would shine with a verity of type treatments. Think of how many title sequences were influenced by Lemony - Nanny McFee, and Enchanted just to name two . It wasn’t his type they were looking at. I have never found myself entranced by a title sequence simply because the typeface relates well to the movie, and I enjoy being entranced.