On November 11th, 2022, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered in theaters worldwide. Perception designed an emotional and moving main on end-title sequence to accompany this film.
Perception is a design and VFX lab that has collaborated closely with many Marvel Studios on over 30 Marvel Studios films and series. Perception conceptualized the integral system of Wakandan technology for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Black Panther, as well as designed the main on end title sequence for Black Panther.
“Since the production of the first Black Panther film, our team has been deeply involved with the world of Wakanda,” said Eric Daly, Director of Production at Perception. “Marvel Studios asked us to return for this film to design the characters’ technology and create the main on end title sequence due to our deep-rooted connections with Wakanda. As soon as we watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, we knew that our main on end title should be tied in to the intense emotions and somber yet joyful tone at the end of the film.”
The main on end title sequence that Perception created for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever focused on the burning of Shuri’s funeral clothing through close and intimate shots of fire igniting and scorching the fabric. As the sequence progresses and the mourning cloth burns away, the Black Panther suit is revealed on the end title card.
“We often craft title sequences that are very exciting and colorful, but we wanted to do something that was more in line with a reflection piece for this title sequence,” stated Doug Appleton, Chief Creative Director at Perception. “The simplicity of the white cloth and the flames is soothing and powerful in a different way than our other sequences. Seeing the Black Panther suit come through the flames at the end feels rewarding and incredibly moving.”
The main on end title sequence was almost entirely filmed using real cloth and flames. Marvel Studios provided Perception with Shuri’s costume from the film, and the team studied its fabric and tested how that type of cloth would burn. Perception then experimented with igniting different types of linen and fabrics in order to test ways they could control the speed and intensity of the flames by varying the cloth, accelerants, and different flame retardant treatments.
“Fire is unruly and unpredictable, so we had to invent ways to try to control the flames while we filmed,” said Greg Herman, Creative Director at Perception. “One of our methods was using butane fuel to coat the fabric and direct the flame to ignite a certain way. With this, we were able to create a simulation of a flame so we could capture precise and detailed shots.”
To film the main on end title sequence, Perception used a Panavised Sony Venice 2 camera with Panavision Auto Panatar Super Speed Anamorphic Lens. This specialized camera was custom built for films that work with fire.
“Autumn Durald Arkapaw, Director of Photography on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Loki, put together a special camera and lens package for us through Panavision tailored specifically for the main on end title sequence,” stated Christian Haberkern, Art Director at Perception and Cinematographer on the main on end title sequence. “The main on end title sequence plays after such an important moment of the film that our teams wanted the look of this sequence to match the look of the rest of the film. She used this one-of-a-kind lens on this movie, and we captured our entire title sequence with it as well.”
The emotional weight and intimacy of the main on end title sequence was something that Perception designed to fit perfectly with the tone and themes of the film. Perception is honored to have collaborated on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, once again becoming an important part of the world of Wakanda.
Perception is a team of design visionaries brought together to architect the future of technology for cinema, and the world’s most innovative companies. The two founders started the company in 2001 to pioneer a new era of motion graphics, becoming one of the first studios to blaze the trail of high-end visual effects all created on the desktop. In the last 21 years, Perception has evolved to break new ground in cinema and cutting-edge user experience design. The Perception team divides their days teleporting between the parallel dimensions of fantasy and reality. Whether working on the next superhero blockbuster or an intelligent and delightful experience for industries of the future, storytelling is at the very foundation of everything they do.
About the movie:
In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, opened in U.S. theaters Nov. 11, 2022.