HBO
Team Downey

Tim Van Patten
Susan Downey
Robert Downey, Jr.
Amanda Burrell
Ron Fitzgerald
Katrin L. Goodson

“Perry Mason” main title logo animations and eight unique end title sequences

Shine designed and animated the main title logo and eight unique end title sequences for Perry Mason. Each main title logo card, designed as if it were created on an animation stand in the 1930’s, was integrated into the scene using rotoscoping and 3D tracking. Each end title sequence was designed to specifically conclude each episode, serving as a visual punctuation as the final scene rings out.

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Set in 1932 Los Angeles, the series focuses on the origin story of famed defense lawyer Perry Mason, based on characters from Erle Stanley Gardner’s novels. Living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator, Mason is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage. L.A. is booming while the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression — but a kidnapping gone very wrong leads to Mason exposing a fractured city as he uncovers the truth of the crime.

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Each main title logo card, designed as if it were created on an animation stand in the 1930’s, was integrated into the scene. Rotoscoping and 3D tracking allows the logo to appear prominently on screen, not unlike cinema logos during the golden era of Hollywood. This main title logo treatment allows the edit each episode to continue uninterrupted, even though the logo is boldly presented.



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Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, Perry Mason lives paycheck to paycheck as a low-rent private investigator who’s haunted by his wartime experiences in France and managing the fallout of a broken marriage. A firebrand preacher with a mysterious past, Sister Alice rallies her Radiant Assembly flock around the defendant in Perry Mason’s case while her mother Birdy tries to protect her from the fallout. A renowned criminal defense attorney who’s both a father figure and mentor to Perry Mason, Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan may be past his prime, but he’s still fiercely committed to his clients. A beat cop with a knack for investigative work, Officer Paul Drake reluctantly finds himself at the center of Perry Mason’s investigation as he navigates a racist and corrupt police department. And serving as Perry Mason’s extra set of eyes on his various, often unsavory investigations, Pete Strickland taught Mason everything he knows about gathering dirt.

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Each end title sequence is not designed to set up a tone or a mood, the way many other title sequences do. Instead, each title title sequence is intended to serve as a continuation of the thought and the feeling of each episode. Above are images from the tragic end of episode 104. The hummingbird’s movement is designed to be the visual representation of a life fully lived, concluding with the hummingbird coming to rest on a small branch.

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At the end of episode 105, Perry Mason barely passes the California State Bar. His talents as a lawyer are based on his instincts, and his clarity about the difference between right and wrong. Perry Mason doesn’t have a Juris Doctor diploma from a fancy law school. In fact, he was only allowed to apply to take the Bar exam under a State provision that allows for law office apprentices. Lady Justice is intended to represent Perry’s instinctual moral clarity and his relentless pursuit of justice. Perry Mason is – like everyone – imperfect. His drive makes him extraordinary.

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Corruption can often be uncovered by the old rule: follow the money. In episode 106, Perry Mason discovers secrets about financial crimes by using some of his old-school detective instincts. This ultimately leads him to places outside of Los Angeles. This destination is the planned community of Girard, California. The end title sequence uses blueprints that show how developers envision the town of Girard.