On June 8th, 2022, the first episode of Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel began streaming on Disney+, introducing Kamala Khan and her cosmic powers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perception designed the main on end title sequence for the anticipated new series, led by designer and animator, Vivian Amaro, a Jersey City resident with a strong connection to Ms. Marvel.
Amaro has been a member of the Perception team for one year and has worked on several title sequences for Marvel Studios with Perception, such as Hawkeye and Moon Knight. With her experience designing title sequences and her current residency in Jersey City, Amaro took the lead on the Ms. Marvel title sequence, developing the initial concept and providing crucial creative direction through the final execution.
“When I watched the first episode of Ms. Marvel in our screening, I immediately felt a sense of street vibes and graffiti art,” said Amaro. “I saw the makings of a title sequence in my head and it was so bright and colorful. I went straight to picturing different murals and bold styles, and I envisioned how it would fit with both the show and Kamala’s character. The idea was that the audience would be seeing Jersey City through the imaginative mind of Kamala Khan.”
The title sequence focuses on the many sights and scenes around Jersey City, featuring iconic comic book art of Ms. Marvel as murals on different city surfaces. To match the vibrancy of the series and the character, Amaro elected to use a bright, colorful palette to depict the city and the artwork.
To prepare for this sequence, Amaro walked around her neighborhood to take videos and photographs of areas of interest. She recorded buildings, street signs and intersections that were easily distinguishable as being part of Jersey City. Since New York City has been a focal point location throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Amaro wanted this sequence to be completely recognizable as Jersey City.
After her initial research shoots, Amaro and the team at Perception decided to travel to Jersey City to film the area in a live action shoot for the sequence. The team filmed two days on location, visiting spots that Amaro travels to regularly in her day to day life and areas she passes through on her way to the Perception studio.
“Actually filming Jersey City was so important to us,” stated Amaro. “By filming the many areas around Jersey City, we were trying to show how Jersey City has many layers, just as Kamala does. Living in Jersey City myself, I wanted to stress the importance of the contrast between the city, downtown, and the suburbs, and how there are so many different people and layers of culture.”
Having a character rooted in Jersey City become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a crucial moment for Amaro. Her goal was to represent a piece of New Jersey that is not often seen from those outside of the state and foster feelings of appreciation and fascination in the city.
“A big part of Kamala’s character to me is that she’s a girl living in Jersey City, just like me,” concluded Amaro. “From the beginning, I created such a deep bond with this project and this character because they are both so personal to me. It is the first project I have ever led at Perception, from coming up with the pitch idea to giving my creative input the entire time, and it’s really given me a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in my career.”
As a woman from Jersey City, Amaro is ecstatic that a character like her is a new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Being the creative lead on this title sequence with Perception has given Amaro the chance to inspire and uplift other women while sharing the culture and vibrancy of her home town, Jersey City. Perception is honored to have Amaro as part of their talented team and to have collaborated with Marvel Studios on Ms. Marvel.
Daniel Gonzalez started his career at R/GA after graduating from St. Johns University where he received a BS in Business. For 6+ years he lead the visual effects team for feature films, global ad agencies and broadcast networks. In the Fall of 2001, Gonzalez co-founded Perception with an RGA colleague, Jeremy Lasky. They formed a motion graphics studio that lead the revolution in creating groundbreaking design and visual effects on the desktop. Now in it's 18th year, the studio has sharpened its focus to become global experts in designing futuristic UIs for both feature films and for the most powerful brands in technology. From Iron Man to IBM, from The Avengers to SpaceX, the studio has an extremely unique niche that truly bridges the gap between science fiction and science fact. Gonzalez co-leads new business initiatives, shapes the company’s growth, while overseeing a full-time staff of 15.
Perception has been featured on Engadget, Art of the Title, Cinefex, Gizmodo, ACM Siggraph, ADC nominated at SXSW for Best Title Sequence and twice nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Gonzalez has lectured/guest speaker on design and technology at OTIS, SCAD, Boeing, Carnegie Mellon’s ETC and NYU ITP. He's also given presentations and workshops at some of the biggest tech giants in the world including Samsung, SpaceX, Intel, Microsoft, GE, Northrop Grumman, Audi, Mercedes, Ford, Chrysler and Apple.
Gonzalez’s past work has been showcased on the film screen and televisions across the world, while Perception’s work can be experienced on the big screens, in smart homes, automobiles and mobile devices across the planet!