Using a combination of post production, polystyrene sheets, cellulose paint thinning solvents and a lot of patience, the titles for Ealing Studios and Fragile Films' Dorian Gray were born.
Titles Designer Matt Curtis of AP Design wanted a fluid and decaying feel to the titles and it was determined early on through numerous tests that we couldn’t get the random feel digitally in the time we had available.
Matt Lawrence, Rushes Head of MGFX Studio spent a week experimenting with various techniques to get the decaying look which ranged from burning painted letters using an electric paint stripper to heating baking powder in a frying pan.
Finally, through trial and error, a technique was honed that gave the right look. This involved spraying cellulose paint thinner directly onto polystyrene sheet and shooting it with an HD Camera. Matt Lawrence spent the next week cutting out hundreds of letters from the polystyrene sheet in preparation for the shoot that was undertaken in a day at Rushes.
After a many layered After Effects build, the titles were determined and then passed onto Rushes Shake compositors lead by Hayden Jones to refine, grade and layer revealing Ben Barnes’ (who plays Dorian Gray) image through the letters with extra textural splats shot by Matt Lawrence.
Matt Lawrence comments: “I think this was one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever worked on. It was great to get back to my roots and get my hands dirty doing model-making again. It has also made me think in a different way about achieving effects; just because we use computers every day to create our work, doesn’t mean it’s the best way of achieving the effect you are after.”
Title: Dorian Gray (Feature Film Titles)
Director: Oliver Parker
Producer: Barnaby Thompson
Production Company: Fragile Films
Titles Designer: Matt Curtis AP
Post Facility: Rushes
Titles Producer: Louise Hussey
Titles Coordinator: Warwick Hewett
After Effects: Matt Lawrence
Elements shoot: Matt Lawrence 
Shake: Hayden Jones and Joe Dymond
Read more about the making of this project here:
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