So when asked to come up with a film/TV show to design a title sequence for I chose Breaking Bad, I thought it would give me a lot of room to experiment visually as the show has many iconic images.
I soon decided to go for Leon instead, Leon was the first film I watched at the age of 13/14 that made me want to be a filmmaker, it was like a roller coaster of emotions and struck a chord with me instantly.
‘Leon’ tells the story of Leon, an italian immigrant who works as a ‘cleaner’ another word for an assassin or hitman. Leon is alone in the world besides his employer Tony and his houseplant, that he feeds everyday, he himself at one point in the film calls it his best friend. He takes in a 12 year old girl called Mathilda after her family are brutally killed after a drug related shootout involving Gary Oldman’s corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield.
After some time Leon agrees to train Mathilda to be a cleaner to help her avenge her family, the two strike up a deep and loving relationship that changes both of their lives completely.
The Relationship pictured in the film garnered quite a lot of controversy due to it’s underlying sexual message about Mathilda’s coming of age. The relationship can be viewed as platonic like I myself see it. The plant is shown throughout the film and is used as a metaphor for the relationship between the two protagonists but more importantly Leon himself.
At the end of the film, Leon dies protecting Mathilda at the hands of Norman Stansfield so Mathilda plants the plant outside of her new school to let it grow roots so that Leon can be alive even in death.
Below are a couple of title sequences made by other people, they are not the tone that I am after but they have elements that I thought of originally.
I wanted to keep my idea simple and effective and try to go for something a bit different.
I Started to draw a few recognisable images off the top of my head, whilst discussing my plans with Corrie, I settled quite confidently on the image of Leon’s Houseplant sat on a table with the checkered pattern of Tony’s restaraunt on it.
This was the original drawing…
So the idea was to have the plant grow from nothing into a fully grown plant through the sequence.
The plant has such a powerful role within the film so I decided to focus on this one image and use it to convey the themes of the film.
This action would be a metaphor for Leon’s own growth from being alone and loveless to being complete and fully grown from meeting Mathilda.
My next step is to try and figure out how to create this, I will make an animatic to see whether the image will be interesting enough with the text and then decide on how to go about animating a plant.
I have several theories on how to do this…
My Green screen element will be the table cloth and plant pot, I will purchase these and start for real after my animatic is finished.