April 13, 2010

MAD MEN's Opening Screensaver


Please click the above to see the MAD MEN opening title sequence on YouTube.

Please click on Screensaver Here to download it onto your computer!!

In the opening title sequence of "MAD MEN" there are several angles of a falling man. Readers have told us they find it disturbing and irresponsible. The feedback is that the sequence echoes how a number of 9/11 victims jumped from the World Trade Center. It's considered exploitive, even though "MAD MEN's" creators did not intend it that way.

Others see it differently. We've also been told that it is precisely what's needed in today's daily barrage of Grand Theft Auto computer-game sensory anti-deprivations. Its dust-up is what otherwise cloaks our wounds. It shakes us to our senses and makes the opening sequence break through.


Then there's the third camp; those who see it as the same tangle; the tyranny between the forces of 9/11's mad men versus world trade; and/or the struggle between each of our needs for Ayn Rand-individual authenticism, versus modern-day MAD MEN message calculation.

Pretty heavy, huh? We need a dry martini.

And then finally, there's the fourth; the view of the guys who designed it, MAD MEN's Opening Sequence designers, Mark Gardner and Steve Fuller of design firm, Imaginary Forces. Here's how they saw it, "In just 36 seconds, you become fully aware that Don Draper's life is not quite as it seems."


Check out this link for the INTERVIEW they gave about how they worked with series creator Matthew Weiner to develop this controversial opening, and some of their influences, including Saul Bass, among others.

Mark: Matt spent a lot of time telling us about show and why the 1960s was a perfect time to set the show in. At the culmination of his call, he said something really enigmatic that set the bar really high. He said, "I don't want to be like this but this is how the show could start: A faceless guy who gets up, gets breakfast with his perfect family. Puts on his coat, leaves, goes to work. He goes into the elevator, rides up to the office, opens the window and jumps out. All seen from behind.... but not that."


Steve: That told us he was looking for something edgy and provocative. We knew The Sopranos, and the level he worked at. We knew he wasn't going to go for anything silly.

Steve: We thought it would be cool be to put the ad man inside some of the classic ads... and have them turn on him. Like the classic VW ad and changing it, so the car is chasing the man. Then we built a little bit of the architecture with the ads -- Mark brought it together -- the idea of everything coming together in the fall, the building collapsing around him, tumbling in turmoil and him snapping out, perfectly composed in that confident position he is in the end.


Steve: The fall is such a great a metaphor for the confusion; it's such a helpless position. It's also something people can relate to in dreams, when you're jolted out of sleep, that feeling of falling. We intentionally kept it simple with straight cuts, cinematic angles and pacing. The slow motion is a big part of that dreamlike kind of feeling.


To wake you from this dream sequence, the photo above includes those of MAD MEN's cast who appeared last week in Hollywood as part of the 25th Annual Paleyfest. They look great but we can't help but ask, where is January Jones???

Matthew Weiner was on hand, taking time out from busily crafting stories for the second season. Click on the photo above or HERE to read more about it and some hints he dropped about next season.

Do check out the MAD MEN blog and give Matt and the millions of other MAD MEN fans your own secret plot lines.

Finally, definitely download MAD MEN's Opening Sequence Screensaver. It's guaranteed to get the blood flowing, particularly after your next MadAve 3-Martini lunch!

Thanks to Clayton Neuman, AMCtv.com's community editor for all this and more! And special thanks to Kurt Brokaw, MadAve Journal's culture editor for his perspective on MAD MEN's attention-grabbing opening sequence.

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