Death Note

Computers are great, reality is better. When director Adam Wingard approached us to create the main title for Death Note, his vision was that the graphics feel like they were created practically and reminiscent of horror films of the 1970s. We jumped at the opportunity, and decided the best way to achieve this was to get up from the computer and make it for real. We ended up fabricating the title from sheet metal, experimenting with dozens of techniques for burning, melting and dissolving the type—ultimately revealing the title as volumetric light.

Set to the haunting track Reckless by Australian Crawl, the title sets the tone for the beautiful horror of Adam Wingard’s Death Note. We also designed the opening titles and main-on-ends, creating a custom Shinigami world and directing special shoots with the Death Note book and Ryuk costume. It was an honor working with Adam and his team, and we couldn’t be prouder of the result.

Title fabrication.

We constructed the main title from sheet metal, with hand-carved and plasma-cut typography. These “base plates” acted as hold-out mattes for various destructive techniques. 

Title fabrication.

We constructed the main title from sheet metal, with hand-carved and plasma-cut typography. These “base plates” acted as hold-out mattes for various destructive techniques. 

Burn. Melt. Dissolve.

A five day shoot, which involved burning, melting and dissolving everything we could get our hands on, eventually produced the desired result. There was a lot of smoke involved and ventilator masks are a new favorite tool in the shop.