Netflix Series FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE Gets Sarofsky Main Titles
July 18, 2017 by Screenmag
Chicago-based design-driven production company Sarofsky has added another creative feather to its cap with the main title sequences created for the new Netflix series, FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE.
Sarofsky not only executed the title sequence for the first episode, but also seven other custom versions for episodes two through eight. Editorial was handled by The Colonie's Tom Pastorelle
According to the series’ official home on Netflix, “Twenty years after graduation, a tight-knit group of college friends reconnects and discovers that love hasn't gotten easier with age.” During the creative briefing from series executive producers and writers Francesca and Nicholas (Nicholas also directed all eight episodes), the invitation extended to Sarofsky’s team was very open. According to Erin Sarofsky, the company's founder, the creators provided extensive background, and also spent considerable time discussing the comedic tone, character development, key situations and themes, and also, the “A+” level of the show’s production design.
“The show’s look is quite pristine and high-end,” she said. “We wanted to make sure the title sequence fit into the world they created, which meant we had to match that with our art direction and production design decisions.”
Sarofsky’s creative team presented a wide variety of solutions, and one immediately attracted Nicholas and Francesca.
“The idea they chose had high production value, it elegantly communicates the characters’ long history together, and since it documents a series of shared meals enjoyed together over a long period of time, it conveys a strong family feel," said Steven Anderson, Sarofsky's executive producer.
Sarofsky’s approach to the key storytelling sequence captures six friends coming together at a table where time passes from their college days to the present.
“While it may seem like we just filmed a wide variety of meals and cut them together into a fun edit,” Sarofsky said. “First, we decided that in the college years, there would be more disorganization, smoking, bad posture and in general, cheap eats. Moving into our twenties, the food gets a bit more refined and features some home cooking. Toward the end, the meals become more restaurant-focused, high-end cuisine, better wine and impeccable lighting. We even snuck in some key life events like a wedding and a baby shower.”
Teaming again with director of photography Michael Bove, with whom Erin shot the main titles for TNT’s ANIMAL KINGDOM, principal photography with the six body-double actors (Sarofsky didn't have access to the cast) took place over two days in Chicago. Shooting with the ARRI Alexa, 18 setups were photographed in all, with the utmost care taken to style each actor individually over a span on 20 years.
Editor Tom Pastorelle of Chicago-based editorial company The Colonie earned high praise from everyone at Sarofsky and Netflix for his unique storytelling artistry and editorial craftsmanship.
Credited with delivering “a million versions for us to see how it all could best play out,” Sarofsky also points to the strengths of the 10-second versions as merits of his skills. She also offered praise for colorist Fred Keller of Filmworkers Club Chicago.
“The biggest challenge was that we had so many great moments in each setup," Sarofsky said. "It was really difficult to choose, but in the end, we were able to tell the audience that these friendships have withstood the test of time, and that they are no longer just friends from college - they are family. As everyone knows, lots of good comedy and drama can be expected in that situation.”