Saul Bass – The Man with the Golden Arm
Q: How did you start your career in the film industry creating title sequences?
A: It was after my title sequence for “Man with a Golden Arm” that I became widely known and after that I decided to create an innovative work to match the films controversial subject because that’s what had the most meaning and what was the most intriguing to watch.
Q: What was your main goal and intent for this work?
A: My main goal was to try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story you are about to watch. To create a true climate for the story that is about to unfold in front of your eyes.
Q: What was this film about?
A: This film was about drug addiction. The symbol which is the arm is expressive and disjointed which reflects the jarring existence of the drug addict.
Q: What are the techniques you use in your work?
A: I see myself as an employed diverse film maker that has special techniques. These include, cut out animation where I use bits and pieces of film or art work and place them together in a “collage” format. Fully animated mini movies, that include moving pictures. And finally, live action sequence. These techniques are what make my work unique, and act as a trade mark for myself; Saul Bass.
Q: How did you begin to get commissioned by Otto Fleminger and start creating title sequences for the first time?
A: I was creating symbols for ad campaigns and I so happened to be working on a symbol for him, and it was just a random and simple thought that we both sparked interest in and decided to simply “make it move!”
Q: After creating this piece, what advice would you give future designers?
A: LEARN HOW TO DRAW. Don’t ever work around it, you will need it. Drawing is one of the most important aspects to design. It is the communication that connects the intent to what is happening on the page. If the drawing is not up to par, the communication is completely lost. One can ‘get by’ without drawing but will never fully succeed in their career as a designer. And most of all, being a designer is a life commitment. Taking on other priorities or tasks is simply impossible when perusing a career in design. It needs your full and undivided attention.
Q: What are you most proud of as a designer? Especially when it comes to this work.
A: I take pride in the fact that I was the first to realize and acknowledge the importance of the opening and closing credits of a movie. No one notices that those people have a huge impact on the entire film. Creating a dynamic and interesting sequence that people can watch, entice them to pay attention and actually read the names. Once I worked in graphics for a long time I decided to move graphics into images on film and realized the importance of live action.