Marvel Studios knows that their fans—especially comic book fans—will stay glued to their seats until the screen goes dark. For “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Marvel enlisted Sarofsky Corp, a Chicago-based production company, to create an eye-popping main-on-end (MOE) title sequence.
“Right where the film ends, when all of a sudden it says ‘Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo’ through Robert Redford, all that black-and-white with huge pops of red was our stuff,” said Erin Sarofsky, owner and Executive Creative Director said when reached by phone for an interview.
Three months to get it right
When her company pitches a movie, Sarofsky explained, they get to see a rough cut before they pitch concepts or treatments. They were called by the studio a week before Thanksgiving and then given one week to pitch their idea.
“It felt like a ‘Bourne Identity’ just as much as it felt like a superhero film; it felt very real and on the ground. It had kind of a spy thriller kind of component to it. Here, we started talking about 70’s spy thrillers and keeping it very graphic and simple. But also acknowledging that it’s a superhero movie, doing some kinds of comic book illustrations,” she said.
From pitch to finished product, though, Sarofsky Corp only had three months to deliver. Even Dr. Abraham Erskine, developer of the Super Soldier Formula, might have failed to deliver under the deadline.
“We not only delivered what we call the flat version, the 2D version, but we also delivered in 3D, in stereoscopic,” Sarofsky explained. “That’s a whole separate job right there: everything is animated with two cameras. It’s a whole different thing.”
An underdog like Steve Rogers
Sarofsky said that going into discussions with Marvel, they were the underdog even though they did a solid pitch.
“My intuition was we were so the dark horse that there was no way they would give us this job. It was kind of like an audition for a different job in the future. We knew the Russos, which was how we got into the mix for the Marvel team,” she offered.
After landing the job, though, the Walt Disney Studios needed to inspect her company’s infrastructure in terms of security.
“There was a ton of stuff we had to do from a security standpoint. While we were making the actual piece, we were modifying the office based on Disney’s requirements. Which was crazy, but it’s great because now we are prepared to do any Disney or Marvel kind of work,” she said. “We had to do on-site security like cameras and fobbing the doors so you know who’s coming and going when. Any drives with Marvel material had to be stored in safes overnight.”
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” currently is available on digital HD. It arrives on Blu-ray on Tuesday, September 9.