Up in the Air- Opening sequence

up in the air

The opening film sequence for Up in the Air (2009) takes the viewer on a journey through the clouds and across the abstract landscapes of America. Each still is like a vintage postcard. The moving sequence is inter-cut with slides of lush greenery, dusty canyons, and intricate cityscapes. And the cherry on top? Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings’ “This land is your land” is the soundtrack behind the film edits that make the images float, glide, spin across the screen. It kicks the sleepiness out of the aerial footage and gives it a boost of vibrancy. The studio responsible for this, Shadowplay Studio, also made film titles for Juno (2007) and Thank you for Smoking (2005).

up in the air

film titles

Besides a great opening title, you should see this film because it does a great job of capturing thoughtful humor in airport security, firing people, and break-ups. George Clooney brings charm to his character as a professional that large companies hire to lay off their staff. In an economic recession, he’s a busy man zipping across the country firing people on other’s behalf. While the theme of the film might be a downer, the film is overall enjoyable and fun.

film titles

title design

up in the air

up in the air

film title design

up in the air

up in the air

All images courtesy of Paramount Studios and Shadowplay Studio.

Indie Wire interviewed the filmmaker, Jason Reitman and asked this about the film titles:

When did you come up with the title sequence; it perfectly sets the tone for the movie. What was your goal there?

“I figured you put a camera in a plane, you put it up in the air, you point down, you get aerial footage, right? I really thought it would be that simple. It was so complicated. Every time you see aerial footage in a movie it’s from a helicopter at 12,000 ft. To get it from 25,000 ft, first we went up with a jet and we had a camera that was going through this bubble system, except the optics weren’t good enough and atmosphere was giving us trouble. Then we went up with a propeller plane and the pilot had to wear an oxygen mask to get up that high; we took a camera out on a wing, we went digital instead of film, and then the camera would not go straight down, so they’d have to put the plane into a dive to get the camera to go down. I mean it was just like unreal how hard it was to get this footage. But I’m really happy with the results and of course it made for fun opening titles.”

See Up in the Air opening sequences at MakingOf.

Apple produced short videos for Up in the Air, including one about the titles.


Also worth checking: Classic Film Stills from the Hot Dog.

Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS Feed yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.


Tags, , ,

Trackback from uberVU – social comments - Social comments and analytics for this post...

Holy crap, that is GORGEOUS!

Anyone knows what fonts they used?

this is the first writeup that’s actually made me want to see this movie. non-designers never take note of awesome things like opening title sequences.

yesssss, i love it!! the song accompanying these visuals just takes you away. i wasn’t ready for the movie to start.

I am glad to see such a great opening sequence. Older films have such wonderful ones. Most new movies are definitly lacking nicely designed openings!

sharon jones and the dap kings are one of the most funkiest bands of all time.

font? i am fairly sure that it is one of a million versions of knockout.

i didn’t really dig the movie itself, but i have to say, the opening sequence did rock. hope you have a great week!

xo urban flea ;)

I loved this too, it was a perfect beginning for the movie. Beautiful images, I had no idea they were so hard to obtain.

great movie, touching indeviduals

That’s a really great movie, and this itw is full of informations. I really like the way they did their opening.

And really.. what’s better than being “up in the air”. Great compilation.
Greg, grout stain guy

font? i am fairly sure that it is one of a million versions of knockout.

Wow I am so stoked…my 4yrold son and I along w/ my mother want to see the show so bad…I am convinced that my little boy Dylan is BEP Biggest fan… Vending Machine Locators some kids pretend to be firemen,Doctors and Police Officers…NOT my Boy HE pretends to be Apple, Will or Taboo and lucky me…he always makes me Fergie Vending Machine Locator

Great opening sequence.

this is cool stuff

Its really great piece of screen play…Nice view and I loved to be there till it finish because the way it produced was really awesome.. Keep it up to give this kind of work..
thank u

Oh..this really great piece of work..I love till it end my girl wanted to repeat it ..the screen play and direction well performed ..this kind of work should continue to entertain people like us…the view from the air really awesome..

I loved this film. Worth watching!

A very nice screen work, I must say. One of my favorite actors were there. Will be waiting for you to post similar movies, like a list of movies with same genre.

Its a really nice screen to play … Beautiful view and I'd be there until it stops, because it was generated impressive .. Keep up to give this kind of work ..

The series of photos taken by you are highly commendable. These mark out what this film is have to do with.

I agree that Door of Silk is better than others, especially when it comes to competetion. I have been seen Door of Silk for the last long years it never dissapointed me. Does anybody know about that company pls check the following url.

The picture shown here is really so nice. I like the way it is displayed here. My whole attraction goes to this.

Yes indeed is something spectacular about these pictures. It really makes me curious about the film.

Wow! great effort. All are nice pictures, & I am interested to watch the film. thank you so much.

wow thats great pix! gretings Heidi

Really amazing pictures. Waiting for the movie.

Really cool images. will watch the film now!