Directed by Cat McCarthy
Motion Design
CG (Computer Graphics)
Live Action
2D Animation
Kinetic Type
High Speed Filming
Main Title Sequence
Photo Real Compositing


We were beyond excited to collaborate with Rob Letterman and Nicholas Stoller to create a title sequence for the re-imagined Goosebumps series on Disney+. For this piece, we got off of our computers and created much of this inky world in-camera to elevate Goosebumps’ iconic logo.


When we first heard that Goosebumps was coming to Disney+, we were immediately interested. Many of us in the studio had grown up on the books and we were excited to hear how the series was being re-imagined. After our first calls with the Goosebumps team, our objective was clear:

We had to find a way to call to the original Goosebumps brand while elevating the aesthetic for a more mature audience.

The team provided us with the already-designed inky Goosebumps logo and that’s when our instincts flarred.

We asked ourselves: What if we created a dark, gritty world with ink building on the Goosebumps’ logo…and what if we did it in-camera with real ink?

Yes…and YES!


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Behind the Scenes

For several weeks, we worked (with perpetually ink stained hands) to figure out ways to have the ink flow practically into the specific letterforms of the logo. In the end, we created a method using just stencils, water, ink, paper, and straws.

While the method ended up being fairly simple, it took A LOT of trial and error to get there. We auditioned several inks (it turns out the dispersion level drastically differs per brand) and different paper textures to find the perfect level of ink flow.

Controlling the direction of the ink was our biggest hurdle. We first tried tilting the paper but the movement of the paper was distracting in-camera.

We then built a makeshift rig that kept the camera parallel to the paper as it tilted. No go. The rig captured too much of our shaky hand movements. We finally settled on using a straw, which allowed for remarkably precise control over the ink’s speed and direction while allowing the paper to remain stationary.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the final method we ended up using in the shoot:
We first cut each letterform into a stencil and placed it over the paper. We then flooded the stencil with water. When we removed the stencil, we were left with a water-shaped version of the letterform on paper. Because ink disperses wherever there’s water, all we had to do was drop ink into the letterform and blow the ink in the direction we wanted.

The Shoot

While doing a table-top shoot of just ink and paper may seem simple, it was anything but. Using too much water created a watercolor aesthetic that didn’t feel right for the show and produced distracting reflections from the lights. Too little water didn’t allow for the ink to flow properly.

While the straws gave us decent control over the direction of the ink’s movement, the organic nature of ink and water meant we had to do multiple takes to get the shots we eventually used. To cut down on the time between shots, we had 5-10 pre-made stencils of each letter pre-cut to give us time to play.


Because we used a macro lens to capture most of the scenes, much of the day was a dance between creating the perfect motion while keeping the ink in focus. Depending on the shot, we had 1-2 “ink blowers” controlling the direction and flow of the ink with straws.

Being able to get off our computer screens and capture the ink practically made for a very fun (and messy) shoot day!

Look Development

After our shoot, we brought everything onto the computer for clean up, comping, and final look development.

While we wanted to create a visually stunning piece, we did not want the final look to feel overly polished or finessed. Elevating the grit and enhancing the shadows felt right given the themes of the show.

While we wanted to maintain the contrast of the black ink against the paper, we didn’t want our whites to actually feel white. Keeping the whites on the darker side helped the environment to feel sinister and gritty.

We also deepened and skewed the blacks slightly to blue to have the ink feel heavy and cold. To subtly point to the horror genre, we added in a slight light flicker throughout the entire piece. We felt that this subtle flicker contrasted well against the smooth, flowing ink.

We also added in dynamic camera moves that followed the ink through the space to really help establish this inky world.

Using ink and paper, we were able to replicate digitally created letterforms in-camera. Being able to create this world practically was extremely rewarding.

Project Credits 
  • Executive Creative Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Executive Producer
    Steven Anderson
  • Creative Director
    Cat McCarthy
  • Stefan Draht
  • Producer
    Dylan Ptak
  • Editor
    Tom Pastorelle
  • Director of Photography
    Brian Schilling
  • Line Producer
    Karen Carter
  • Production Assistant
    Lirio Ramirez
  • Designers
    Nik Braatz
  • Davis Chu
  • Lirio Ramirez
Client Credits 
  • Client
    Disney Plus
  • Developed By
    Rob Letterman
  • Nicholas Stoller
  • Executive Producers
    Rob Letterman
  • Nicholas Stoller
  • Hilary Winston
  • Neal H. Moritz
  • Iole Lucchese
  • Pavun Shetty
  • Conor Wrench
  • Caitlin Friedman
  • Erin O’Malley
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Producers
    Justis Greene
  • Franklin Jin Rho
  • Paul M. Leonard
  • Cinematography
    Thomas Yatsko
  • Stephen McNutt
  • Editors
    Christopher S. Capp
  • Tuan Quoc Le
  • Debby Germino

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