• 9.5.13

    James Franco Stars As James Franco in 'FRANCO'

    Comedy Central's recent roast of James Franco begins with a title sequence by Thornberg & Forester. The 70-second-long clip called "FRANCO," set to Hoodie Allen's track "James Franco," features the jack-of-all-trades playing a range of characters. "You will note that James Franco is responsible for every role in the making of the film," said co-executive creative director Scott Matz, "including, but not limited to, Assistant to Mr. Franco, Assistant to the Special Assistant of Mr. Franco, Catering, Graphics and Hair and Makeup, to name a few."

    T&F worked from senior art director and designer Kyle Miller's concept: to take the audience on a ride through Franco's life and career through his own lens. "Once the song was chosen and each scene length was determined, Kyle and lead animator Ken Krueger began to evolve the animatic," Matz explained. "We worked closely to choreograph the perfect story arc and to stitch each scene with mindful rationale ... the ultimate creative goal with regards to animation qualities, final look, and feel was if Saul Bass, 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' 'Catch Me If You Can,' and the opening to 'Mad Men' had a kid, it would be 'FRANCO.' "

    The team provided a comprehensive show package: transitions, logo loop, logo resolves, roaster name animations, lower thirds, mortises, bumps, typographic templates, and AE project delivery. "We were able to move with ninja-like speed using After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Final Cut," co-executive creative director Justin Meredith added. "There is nothing better than knowing exactly how to use the resources available when a sound idea is intact." T&F's L.A. office also pitched in with Kyle Hurley finishing up the graphics in its West Coast studio. 

    Best of all, Matz, Meredith, Krueger, and Hurley received tickets to the actual taping. "It was difficult to drink wine at the roast and not choke," Matz said. "It was incredibly funny."

    Design/Production company: Thornberg & Forester
    Executive creative directors: Scott Matz and Justin Meredith
    Senior art director and designer: Kyle Miller
    Lead animator: Ken Krueger
    Animators: Kyle Miller, Keith Endow, and Dominika Nicman
    Executive producer: Elizabeth Kiehner
    Producer: Javier Gonzalez
    Music: "James Franco" by Hoodie Allen
    Client: Comedy Central
    VP of design: Chris Scarlata
    Executives in charge of production: Kent Alterman and Jonas Larson
    Producer: Rick Austin of Tenth Planet Productions

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