Richard Morrison interview
designer: Richard Morrison • studio: th1ng • comment
You probably know Richard Morrison's work for movies such as Batman, Brazil, Enemy at the Gates, and Sweeney Todd. We felt it was time to meet this fascinating and charismatic title designer. Morrison discusses title design, and takes us on a grand tour of the th1ng studio in London. And we visit his favorite coffee shop in Soho, the wonderful Bar Italia, where he's made a lot of movie deals over the years. Please leave a comment below if you like it (or if you don't ;)
First in a brand-new series of 9 interviews with title designers, from the brand-new "Watch the Titles" 2 DVD-set.
In the late 1970's, Morrison was a young and ambitious graphic designer and photographer. He got a job at trailer company near the Pinewood studios in London. There he ran into title design legend Maurice Binder, who asked Morrison to assist with the production of one of one of his title sequences. This led Morrison to pursue movie title design. He got his first "lucky break" in 1979, when director Franc Roddam asked him to design the main title for the coming-of-age drama Quadrophenia.
Morrison's body of work includes over one hundred title sequences for film and TV. Notable directors he has worked with (often more than once) include, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Jean-Jacques Annaud, David Lean, Stephen Frears, Kenneth Branagh, Ridley Scott, and Nicolas Roeg.
We shot the interview in five different locations, such as the roof terrace of th1ng's headquarters on Wardour Street. The backdrop of the interview reminded us of the moody images of Victorian London in the Sweeney Todd title sequence. In the afternoon we strolled the streets of London Soho, where Morrison has lived and worked for many years. Morrison seemed to know everyone and constantly stopped to shake hands with people. We rounded up the interview at Bar Italia, an illustrious coffee shop in Soho, where the walls are clad with old pictures of Italian movie stars and where they serve the most amazing frappuccino's and cakes. It's also a place where Morrison often meets with directors to discuss film projects.
To embed or download this interview: vimeo.com | YouTube
This interview is the first in a brand-new series of 9 video interviews with main title designers. These 9 interviews are part of the “Forget the Film, Watch the Titles” 2 DVD-set, which also includes a DVD with 38 standalone title sequences. Check the SubmarineChannel shop for more info. The pre-order discount valid till Dec. 15.
This production was made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation, SNS REAAL Fonds and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Year of production
About Richard Morrison
Richard Morrison is one of Europe’s most prolific and accomplished title designers whose carreer spans over four decades. Morrison started his professional carreer working at a production studio where he ran into Maurice Binder. He assisted Binder with the production of the main title sequence of one of the Bond movies, which led him to pursue movie title design. He got his first "lucky break" in 1979, when director Franc Roddam asked him to design the main title for Quadrophenia.
Morrison's body of work includes over one hundred title sequences for film and TV. Notable directors he has worked with (often more than once) include Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Jean-Jacques Annaud, David Lean, Stephen Frears, Kenneth Branagh, Ridley Scott, and Nicolas Roeg.
After having run the design and production company Plume for more than twenty years, Morrison founded Fig Productions in 1998. In 2007, he joined the animation and mixed media production company Th1ng in London. Morrison is now exclusively directing out of Th1ng (pronounced as "thing one"), partnering with founder Dominic Buttimore, and also takes on the mantle of a senior creative support to the company.
One of the character traits that defines Morrison as a designer is his ability to connect to people. A grounded and level-headed Brit, Morrison intuitively understands what a project needs. He is not just a designer, but a storyteller aswell.
Main titles by Morrison include The Constant Gardener, Seven Years in Tibet, Batman, Brazil, Gandhi, Hellraiser, The Killing Fields, A Passage to India and Sweeney Todd.
Niels de Roos
Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix
Everyone at th1ng, Rafal Kwiatkowski@Grappa, Bar Italia