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Perception Teams With AMC for Movies Show Open

Movies That Shook The World premieres in September

A palpable sense of menace pervades the show open for Movies That Shook The World, a new AMC series examining the creation and influence of nine seminal American films created by design/post house Perception ( For the show, which premieres in September, Perception also created the complete show packaging including transitions, lower-third IDs and even the digital imagery seen as backdrops during celebrity interviews.

"We were aiming for a mysterious, Russian Constructivist look," says Perception Design Director Jeremy Lasky. "This was a challenging project due to the fact that even though the show is about movies we couldn't use any movie footage. In addition, AMC felt that any literal interpretation of the movies, such as cameras, slates or filmstrips was too cliché. That left us with the question: How do you do a show open about movies without showing any movies or movie imagery?

Luckily, the design team led by Lasky and Art Director Curt Neumann rose to the challenge by creating the ominous mood that reflects the impact the films made on pop culture. The open features a fast-paced montage of intense flashing lights, utilitarian graphics and a circulating biohazard symbol and assorted admonitions: Caution!, Danger!, Warning! At its climax, an all-seeing eye blinks before transforming into a translucent blue globe that accompanies the series' title.

Beginning with James Bridges' classic The China Syndrome (1979), Movies That Shook The World comprises nine 30-minute episodes detailing the origins, making of and earth-shaking influence of nine films, including D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915), Mike Nichol's The Graduate (1967), Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), George Lucas' American Graffiti (1973), William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), Adrian Lyne's Fatal Attraction (1987), Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing (1989). Through clips and conversations with the people involved, each episode seeks to explain each movie's particular significance.

"From the beginning, we were after a feeling of ambiguity and strangeness mixed with a sense of earth-shaking significance," says Perception Art Director Curt Neumann. "Achieving that blend is not easy. We shot a lot of unusual elements, including all kinds of film effects on acetate with black ink and left holes for our graphics. We then shone a flashlight through the element, just aiming our camera at the light. We also shot an eye, a hand going up to an ear, shattering glass, all to use in the final composities."

For the penultimate shot that brings the open to a close, Neumann and his team used an odd item ­ an interestingly burnt-out light bulb they found in the office ­  to depict the translucent globe. "It just had a interesting pattern and texture inside the glass," says Neumann. "We hooked it up to an electric screwdriver and rotated it while we shot it. It provided a terrific effect."

About Perception:
Founded in 2002 by former R/GA creatives Jeremy Lasky (Design Director); Brendan Werner (Editorial Director); and Daniel Gonzalez (Effects Director), Perception's ( mission is to create world-class commercial visual art that challenges and changes the industry's idea of what can be accomplished on desktop machines. Collectively, Perception team has worked on over 700 broadcast projects, garnering numerous top creative awards.

Specializes in high-end motion graphics and visual effects for top advertising agencies, broadcast networks and film studios Perception's work includes commercials, network on-air design/promos, show opens/packaging, film title sequences, trailers, music video, corporate video and web design. Since its launch the company has completed assignments for ABC Sports, HBO, Cinemax, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, AMC, Voom HD, Bravo!, Miramax, McDonald's, Sony Music, TV Land/Nickelodeon, FUSE Channel, Ogilvy and Mather, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network, VOOM, Playboy Entertainment, Purina, Avrett Free Ginsberg, Showtime, Grey Healthcare, and The Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop
Apple Final Cut Pro

Creative Credits:
Client:  AMC 
Project:  Movies That Shook The World show open/packaging
Airdate:  September 2005

Production/Design/Post:  Perception, New York, NY
Design Director:     Jeremy Lasky
Visual Effects Director:    Danny Gonzalez
Editorial Director:    Brendan Werner
Art Director:     Curt Neumann


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Related Keywords:design/post house Perception , Jeremy Lasky, Curt Neumann

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