One of my favorite TV shows is Dexter – “A likeable Miami police forensics expert moonlights as a serial killer of criminals who he believes have escaped justice (IMDB).” How awesome is that? The TV show’s intro shows Dexter’s morning routine… in a very violent, gruesome manner:
During an Art of the Title interview with Eric Anderson, the creative director, he explained the intro is meant to take everyday things and twist them to make them to make every image look sinister. Anderson explained that, every task can be seen as violent if you look closely enough. The example he gives is a blossoming flower, which we tend to see as beautiful – but if you look closely enough it’s more like an explosion. This is how they came up with taking each close up of Dexter’s morning routine, to show the “underlying tensions found in everyday situations.”
It begins with Dexter being bit by a mosquito, squashing it, and having blood splatter onto his arm. The image following is his name, written in blood, with a blood drop splattering onto the image. Once again, we see blood splatter after an extreme close-up of Dexter shaving, and cutting his neck. Dexter’s job: a blood splatter analyst. How fitting.
The close ups of Dexter cooking give me such an eery feeling as I watch – cutting the ham with a steak knife, listening to it hit and start frying on the pan, stabbing it to flip it over, cracking the egg open so that it explodes onto the pan… The following scenes – flossing and tying his shoes – seem to symbolize strangulation.
Overall, the intro reflects Dexter and the show perfectly – he goes along with his everyday life acting as though he is normal and fitting in with everyone else, but he has a terrible violence about him that he must fulfill.