For many of us, title sequences are little more than just a list of names that precedes the movie we’re about to watch. They may be artfully rendered, but they can still be easy to overlook. Professional title designer Danny Yount sees title art as something quite different, however. To Yount, title sequences are “the film before the film.”

A great title sequence, according to Yount, can help set the tone, sweep us away, and pull us into the story before it even begins. Yount, who runs Prodigal Pictures, has designed titles for such shows and movies as Six Feet Under (2001), RocknRolla (2008), and Iron Man (2008). In the short documentary above, Yount explains his creative process and shares his views on the under-appreciated art of the title sequence.

Yount discusses his greatest achievements as a motion designer, emphasizes the importance of failure, and brings the viewer behind the scenes as he shoots the very muddy introduction to the FX show The Bastard Executioner (2015). Yount, who is a self-taught artist, has plenty of wisdom to share with aspiring designers. But even if you’re not trying to become the next great title artist, he provides a fascinating glimpse into an art form which film viewers might not often think about.

Banner Image Credit: Electric Park Films, Vimeo