Marvel Studios asked our team at Perception to help create a dynamic main on end title sequence for their newest series on Disney+, Ms. Marvel. This series tells the story of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and her journey gaining incredible powers, but also the struggles that come with it. Ms. Marvel is a fun, colorful show and our team wanted to design a sequence that perfectly matched the tone of the show and this bubbly new character.
Ms. Marvel Episode 1 End Title Sequence
As preparation for designing this sequence, our team watched the first episode of Ms. Marvel together. Immediately, Vivian Amaro, Designer/Animator here at Perception, knew the perfect sequence to craft for this series. As a resident of Jersey City, Vivian believed that crafting a sequence based in Jersey City and overflowing with bright, beautiful murals of Ms. Marvel would be a great way of depicting the character, the tone of the series, and the culture and vibrance of Jersey City. The sequence would be a viewing of Jersey City from Kamala’s perspective and imagination.
JERSEY CITY BILLBOARD ARTISTIC BREAKDOWN
After presenting this concept to Marvel Studios, our teams both agreed that this sequence should be both colorful and exciting, but also grounded. Kamala is very much in awe and inspired by the superheroes within her world, but she feels very detached from them. New York City is where the most thrilling action occurs in this universe, and Kamala has seen all of it, but at a distance from Jersey City. We wanted to celebrate that Jersey City is not just her home town, but rather, it’s her entire world. It’s where her life is, her friends and family are, and where her culture exists.
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT FRAMES
With this in mind, we also knew that depicting the many layers of Jersey City would help show both the dimensions of the city but also the similarities it has to Kamala. We wanted this sequence to show the contrast between the city, the downtown, and the suburbs. Kamala’s culture plays a huge role in this series and in her character arc, so depicting the various cultures and identities within Jersey City was crucial as well.
MS. MARVEL EPISODE 2 END TITLE SEQUENCE
RESEARCH AND FILMING
Since Vivian lives in Jersey City, she began scouting areas around the city that she’s familiar with to pick out spots that would work best for this sequence. She researched locations and views on Google Maps of areas of Jersey City that she hasn’t visited as frequently.
shots captured by the Perception team in Jersey City
Once these locations were chosen, our team traveled to Jersey City to film the sequence using RED cameras and drones. We filmed on location for two days, walking through Jersey City and capturing shots of buildings, street signs, and intersections of interest. While digital creation was an option, live filming helped immerse our team in the energy of Jersey City while also allowing us to capture the many different textures and details of the city.
COMIC BOOK MURALS
In order to bring even more life to the city and help merge it further with the series, we added murals of famous and significant Ms. Marvel comic book panels onto the buildings and streets of the sequence.
Ms. Marvel Episode 1 End Title Sequence Without Text
We did our own research on the comics, reading several Ms. Marvel comic issues to find moments that were inspiring and mural-worthy. We selected several shots and collaborated with Marvel Studios to pick which ones were best, then customized them to fit the world we were inserting them into. We worked closely with show runner and Executive Producer, Sana Amanat, to help identify key comics and aid in building the sequence.
Look development for concept murals
During this process, our team also crafted some of our own original murals. One mural in particular that Vivian created was the shot of Ms. Marvel swinging from a moon, representing the push-and-pull and conflict that Kamala feels regarding her powers and her culture.
MOON SWING TEST MURALS
Each mural was hand drawn and designed to reflect Kamala’s personality and style, while also paying homage to each of her comic book runs. To continue the theme of visual vibrancy, we designed every mural with electrifying, stunning colors.
STUDENT DRIVER MURAL BREAKDOWN
THE IMPORTANCE OF COLOR
Between the various murals and shots of the city, color was perhaps the most important aspect to take into consideration during the crafting of this sequence. Jersey City has two ways it could have been interpreted - dark, gritty and cold, or vibrant, colorful and full of personality and life. Since this sequence was a celebration of the city and Kamala’s roots in it, we knew that making this sequence energetic and colorful was the direction to choose.
Color explorations on concept murals
During the design phase, we would run various color tests on the shots of the sequence. We would then send these tests to Marvel Studios and allow them to pick which color grading they preferred. In every scenario, our teams both agreed that the brighter, more saturated options best fit the sequence and Kamala’s personality reflected within it.
Early color treatment tests
In order to build this sequence, we utilized various programs and softwares. There were several parts moving at once during the design phase.
Catching hand mural breakdown
The edit was being created in Adobe Premiere Pro. On the side, we were drawing and creating murals in Adobe Photoshop. After the murals were designed, we composited and animated everything using Adobe After Effects.
Intersection Title Card Breakdown
Whenever we design a sequence for Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series, we always want to make unique aspects that can change or alter between episodes. There’s always something different or custom to each episode - what we like to call our “Simpson’s Couch”. As we were creating this sequence, our variation came in the form of a location swap in the series.
Ms. Marvel Episode 4 End Title Sequence
Halfway through the series, the main location switches from Jersey City to Karachi. Marvel Studios was interested in switching the location of the sequence to Karachi once the show moves there. They wanted to see what the sequence could look like rooted in that world and fit with that episode. Knowing this could be both fun aesthetically and a great representation of Kamala’s journey, we began mapping out how to build this variation.
Karachi Artwork Breakdown
Unlike with the Jersey City sequence, our team did not have easy-access travel to Karachi. We had to figure out how we could film Karachi without actually being in Karachi. To accomplish this, we collaborated with the Director of Photography and the production crew that were in Karachi. We worked with them to do a shoot preparation and share our edit of the sequence, as well as lay out the types of shots we needed. The crew helped shoot footage for us to use and shared it with us. The footage was incredible, and the perfect means to design our Karachi variant sequence.
MS. MARVEL EPISODE 5 END TITLE SEQUENCE
BRINGING MS. MARVEL TO KARACHI
Just like the Jersey City sequence, we blended murals into the buildings and streets of Karachi. There were some new and unique murals that were not seen in the Jersey City sequence, but many murals stayed the same. However, even the murals that appeared in both Jersey City and Karachi were slightly altered for the Karachi sequence.
BRACELET MURAL BREAKDOWN
We changed the colors, patterns, and details of these murals in Karachi to match the culture, aesthetic and visuals of this city. Some of the details also signify character growth and new information that has been revealed.
MS. MARVEL EPISODE 4 END TITLE SEQUENCE WITHOUT TEXT
THE FINAL EPISODE
For the last episode of the series, we crafted another unique sequence. This sequence bounces between Jersey City and Karachi using a “glitch” effect. This constant location shift represents the blend and balance in Kamala’s character. It also showcases the different murals, the similar murals, and the changes in colors and patterns that we used in the two different cities.
MS. MARVEL EPISODE 6 END TITLE SEQUENCE
There are a few fun and interesting Easter eggs hidden in the sequence. The first Easter egg is actually in the very first shot of the sequence. The red shoe that steps into a puddle right as the sequence starts is actually Vivian’s foot! This was a fun moment captured on camera during our filming that we felt was a great and fun way to start the sequence.
Another notable Easter egg hiding in the sequence is the Trust A Bro truck that drives by, referencing the famous moving organization that appears in Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye.
There are a few fun and interesting Easter eggs hidden in It was an honor to collaborate with Marvel Studios on their newest series, Ms. Marvel. Our team at Perception had an incredible time filming and designing this sequence. It was very personal to us, since our main studio is located in New Jersey and our Lead Designer/Animator on this project lives in Jersey City. We’re thrilled to help bring the vibrancy and excitement of Jersey City to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!