A Life in Waves Title Sequence

Title sequence for the documentary film A Life in Waves (2017). 

A Life in Waves explores the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. From her earliest days learning the piano, to her multi-million dollar advertising ventures, her successes in the world of New Age music, and her recent re-connection with her beloved Buchla synthesizer.  The film is a journey into Suzanne's mind, offering a feminine glimpse into the often complicated world of electronic music. Premiering at SXSW in 2017, the film is currently on a theatrical tour with a VOD release in August 2017. 

I have a passion for titles, and the filmmakers, Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason, gave me a lot of creative freedom on A Life in Waves. In one of the interviews for the film, someone described Suzanne as a "cyborg," and said that she always had "these big synthesizers with wires going everywhere." That image stuck with me. I started with the music and chose one of Suzanne's compositions that was originally created as a TV jingle for the classic Atari arcade game "Liberator" (recently re-released by Finders Keepers Records). It's such a dynamic piece of music, and has the perfect energy and tone to launch us into the film.  From there, I knew I wanted to make something bold, colorful, technical, and futuristic, yet beautiful and feminine - which is exactly the combination that set Suzanne apart in the male dominated worlds of advertising and electronic music.  Looking at images of synthesizers, circuits, piano components, we established the look and feel and the animation took off from there. 

Director | Animator: Ali Clark
Illustrator | Animator: Brian Curtin
Music: Suzanne Ciani
Sound Design:  Lawrence Everson

2018 Gold Addy Award: Elements of Advertising - Animation/Special Effects or Motion Graphics
2018 Silver District 7 Addy Award

Variety - Suzanne Ciani Documentary ‘A Life in Waves’ Lands at Gunpowder and Sky
Spin - Synth Pioneer Suzanne Ciani Documentary A Life in Waves Gets First Trailer
Austin Chronicle - Buoyed Up by A Life in Waves
That Moment In - A LIFE IN WAVES (2017) REVIEW
Big Communications Video Director Makes SXSW Film Festival Debut With “A Life In Waves
 

 

 Storyboards

Storyboards

 For the main title, I was inspired by one of Suzanne’s early logos. I wanted to use a multi-line font to allude to sheet music, sound waves, as well as wires and patch cables.

For the main title, I was inspired by one of Suzanne’s early logos. I wanted to use a multi-line font to allude to sheet music, sound waves, as well as wires and patch cables.

 1980's original Suzanne Ciani promotional graphic 

1980's original Suzanne Ciani promotional graphic 

 Buchla modular synth 

Buchla modular synth 

 Buchla schematic 

Buchla schematic