The opening menus are slacker in every sence of the word: nothing happens. Except that one can hear the sounds of traffic, birds, watch clouds slowly move or see tree leaves rustle, as we pointed cameras at our menus and left them there. No images from the film, but instead becoming part of the film, unlike every other menu out there (including others we have done).
Criterion, much to their credit, saw the value in that approach, even though it meant more work for them, locking in their editorial content. And it certainly meant more work for us, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. It meant designing individual menus - that would align properly on-screen, so as to have the proper vertical or horizontal attributes necessary for the internal programming - and after having designed them, constructing them with appropriate materials, setting up the photography on location, and finally popping them into our formats. We over-delivered, in terms of what Criterion expected, but the alternative would have been business as usual.
That's how we approached it: total immersion. One of the aspects that made the project so enjoyable was the D.I.Y. approach. It's punk. It's street.
But like the film, not without some planning. Shooting on 95 degree days created REAL sweat. Those are REAL flyers for the opening menus on each disc. REAL clouds moving overhead, REAL street sounds. They're not in the film, but they are OF the film, and that was our approach all along. Not to mimic, but to add our slant to existing material. When we're at our best we're creating something in the moment, that stands the test of time, something appropriate and beautiful - even if that beauty is in the mundane.
We created new art, approaching it as if we were on set, and had to create complimentary materials for print and menu-screen. The menu screen which is a band flyer outside a club, was created and photographed outside that club. The messy plate after a lunch of Tex-Mex food, was my messy plate after a lunch of Tex-Mex food, with my notebook on top of it.There are several dining/drinking scenes in the film. I imagined one of the characters looking down and seeing that plate. Not a thing fake about it. And I usually eat that meal at least once every three weeks. For more see the article that came out in Step Inside Design, Take It Personally.