Kook Ewo represents better than no one the new generation of “made in France” title sequence directors.
Very strong visual biases, a sense of very stylized typography, a committed will to evoke genuine emotions for the audience; this true artist knows how to make his work a real peace of art, but always serving the director. Kook Ewo is behind all these noteworthy title sequences: “Silent Hill” (Christophe Gans), “Splice” (Vincenzo Natali) and “Solomon Kane” (Michael J. Basset).
Kook Ewo also directs commercials and short-films. “Black Night is falling” won the Grand Prize of the Angouleme Short-film festival in 2008. He is currently working on his first feature film and on the titles of Silent Hill 2 (Michael J. Bassett ) and The Tall Man (Pascal Laugier). ChezEddy now represents kook Ewo.
The title sequence according to Kook Ewo
The first goal of a title sequence is to throw the audience into a certain state. What makes the difference between a very good title sequence and a more banal one is its capacity to create a strong identity, while respecting the film it is opening to… That’s what’s at stake. You want to fit to the director’s intention but you need to bring a new note into the melody. According to Kook, there’s one important question you need to ask a director: “How do you want your audience to feel when they see the first images from your film? Disorientated or even nauseous (Arlington Road), amazed (Donnie Brasco, Panic Room), ready to take it on the chin (Fight Club, Spiderman), anxious (Se7en, Stigmata), touched (K-Pax), fascinated (Gatacca), amused (Monsters, Inc.), interrogative (Silver City)…? Then you can ask more questions like: what general idea do you want to convey at this stage of the film? Do you want to reveal certain clues? Or put forward the first questions? etc.”
“Then I try to refrain (try is the right word here) from using the latest trends, in order to focus on the film’s concept and the director’s idea. Sometimes, you see very beautiful things in a film that get totally outdated or even uninteresting one year later. My work is to catch what is today’s style while making something that will still look fresh in one year, when the film is released! I mostly get my inspiration from music. I listen to a lot of everything, all the time! As for graphic design, the work of Digital Kitchen, Psyops, yU+co, Post Panic have fueled my imagination. Of course I like what Kyle Cooper and his crowd do at Prologue (Fong, Yount…). And I’m always impressed by Saul Bass, Binder, etc. Photography, which I love, also has a very important role in its capacity to make concepts come up…”
As a pure self-taught person, Kook believes in his instincts and in encounters. “I met Christophe Gans when I was working on the graphic design for the DVD menus of the collection “HK Video”. While he was preparing his film “Silent Hill”, I called him to share my desire of creating a structure around title sequences. He liked the idea a lot and sent me the first version of the script a few days later. Then I sent him about ten short written propositions. A few months later, Christophe called me and asked me to join the team in Toronto. I loved the idea! After a few weeks there, I was put in charge of the flashback sequence (7 minutes), then of the first film teaser, and finally of the closing title sequence (it was not possible to create an opening sequence with the new version of the script). Six months of work altogether!”
Since then, Kook Ewo can’t stop working, finding technical solutions to bring emotions to life. He still dreams of working with his idols. Randomly: David Fincher - Guillermo Del Toro - Alejandro González Iñárritu - Alfonso Cuaron - Martin Scorsese - Sofia Coppola - David Lynch - James Cameron - Quentin Tarantino - Michael Mann!
April 19, 2011