Wayne Fitzgerald, title designer for movies and TV

Wayne Fitzgerald’s title card (along with others, including Bruce Lee) for The Wrecking Crew, the final Matt Helm movie with Dean Martin.

When it comes to titles, names such as Saul Bass, Maurice Binder and Robert Brownjohn get a lot of attention. However, there’s another prolific designer who had an extensive impact on movies and U.S. television: Wayne Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, 88, went to work at Pacific Title in 1951, according to his bio at the Art of the Title website.

Pacific Title did title work for Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and 20th Century Fox. But no one at Pacific received on-screen credit. As a result, Fitzgerald’s name doesn’t appear on such films as The Music Man and My Fair Lady, according to the website.

Fitzgerald went independent in 1967. His work appeared in such films as The Green Berets; The Wrecking Crew, the final Matt Helm film with Dean Martin; Chinatown; and McQ,

The designer also got a lot of television work. He was hired often by Universal’s “television factory.” As a result, the Universal shows he worked on had titles with a bit of visual flair.

Start of the main title of The NBC Mystery Movie

For example, he designed the main title to The NBC Mystery Movie (later The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie), where a man with a flashlight walks with stills of the different components (Columbo, McClous, McMillan & Wife and others) being shown while accompanied by a Henry Mancini theme.

As the title ended, announcer Hank Simms (also the go-to announcer for shows made by QM Productions) would then tell viewers which Mystery Movie segment was being shown tonight.

That title is rarely seen today. The Mystery Movie’s different entries are syndicated separately as TV movies. As a result, they usually don’t include Fitzgerald’s main title.

The designer’s other Universal credits included  It Takes a Thief, The Bold Ones, Switch and Night Gallery.

In all, Fitzgerald’s IMDB.COM ENTRY lists more than 400 credits, extending into the early 21st century.

Daniel Kleinman discusses SPECTRE main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE's main titles

Daniel Craig in SPECTRE’s main titles

The Art of the Title website HAS AN INTERVIEW with Daniel Kleinman, who designed the titles of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, as well as every 007 film since 1995 with the exception of 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

A few highlights:

–Director Sam Mendes was more involved in the titles process than other 007 film directors.

“(S)ome of them are just so busy and aren’t that interested in getting involved in the main title — they leave me to it. And that’s fine by me,” Kleinman said. “But Sam is different. Sam’s a bit more hands-on. He likes getting involved. He’s got his finger in every single bit of it, you know?”

–How he incorporated octopus images (always part of SPECTRE logos, going back to From Russia With Love): “I mean, that’s fairly obvious because the logo of SPECTRE is the little octopus, but that was the key image, the key thing that made me feel that I wanted to have ideas based around it.”

(snip)

“I started thinking about making the octopus more metaphorical rather than literal…So I did some drawings of couples embracing with octopus tentacles coming up behind them or wrapping around them and Sam really liked that.”

–Why he incorporated Daniel Craig into the SPECTRE titles: “(T)he thing with Daniel Craig is that he’s very, very idiosyncratic. The way he moves, the way he looks, the intensity of his presence — it’s very difficult to emulate.”

To view the entire article, CLICK HERE. There are a lot more details, including photographs taken during production of the titles.

Casino Royale titles sequence

kleinmanJust in case Quantum of Solace left you feeling a little empty, you can enjoy some good Casino Royale nostalgia over at the very cool Art of the Title website, where they have a beautiful — I’m talking beautiful — 720p High-Definition QuickTime of Danny Kleinman’s titles sequence from that film.

Enjoy the eye candy RIGHT HERE , and participate in the discussion! You think some folks would know better, but apparently there are those that actually don’t like it… so go add your two cents!