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The Reaping

designer: Danny Yount • studio: Prologue Films • comment

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Strange natural phenomena start to occur in a small town in the heart of the 'Bible Belt' in Louisiana. These phenomena are share strong similarities to the ten biblical plagues. Prologue art director Danny Yount built his title sequence around images of extreme close-ups of frogs, locusts, flies and blood - reflecting the nature of the plagues.

The Reaping (stills)

The mysterious threat that the movie's protagonists are faced with can't be explained by science. Yount's titles reflect the main character's scientific approach and initial scepticism towards the mysterious phenomena she is investigating. Through close-ups of insects combined with a haunting score and the unsettling editing style pioneered by Kyle Cooper in his main title for Se7en, Yount taps into our basic human emotional response we have to a particular kind of fear, "fear of the unknown." It sets the tone for the film perfectly.

The Reaping (stills)

The Reaping (stills)
The Reaping (stills)

I asked Danny Yount why he composed a sequence almost entirely of close-ups. “Budget,” he answers. “I had little to work with and only two weeks to do it, so I took the route of macro photography. I brought in a small 8-megapixel camera and a microscope that my son owned. I found a fly in the windowsill, some leaves and got some basic kitchen items - salt, pepper, some seasoning and a frog... Sounds a bit like witches brew, I know,” Yount says [laughs].

“I shot a series of stills in an evening and gave them to a few good animators here at Prologue who created the real magic with the frog and the leaves and the fly, while I edited and composited. The frog was not harmed and lives at my home, croaking very loudly every time we use the vacuum cleaner.”

The final soundtrack is different than the version Danny Yount worked with during production

“In the version on my web portfolio I used an old track by Amon Tobin. It had the right mood and served as an example for the composer. In the final print Warner Bros decided to go with a more sound design driven piece that I thought worked equally as well.”

The Reaping (stills)

The Reaping (stills)

Article by Remco Vlaanderen, 5 September 2007. Last edit: 13 September 2012

Year of production

2007

Title designer

more about Danny Yount

About Danny Yount

Danny Yount

As a self-taught designer, Danny Yount learned everything he knows the hard way. It was the work of Kyle Cooper that lead him in the direction of main title design.

"It wasn't until I heard about what Kyle Cooper was doing with Imaginary Forces that I was able to get a clear sense of what I wanted to do," Danny told Desktop in an interview, "From that point on I made it my goal to design main titles. To me it was like gravity – it seemed to be the most logical thing to do. I spent a year building a reel and refining my skills."

more about Danny Yount

Full credits

Title Concept, Design, Photography, Editing
Danny Yount, Prologue Films
Director (film)
Stephen Hopkins

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