Marvel Studios
Main on End (MOE)
Motion Design
CG (Computer Graphics)
Live Action

Werewolf by Night

We had the amazing opportunity to contribute to “Werewolf by Night”, Marvel Studios’ Halloween special for Disney+, directed by Michael Giacchino. In a tribute to old classic horror films, we are introduced to a part of Marvel that hasn’t been seen in film before – monsters!


The filmmakers invited us to pitch ideas for the main-on-end title sequence. “Werewolf by Night” is stylized to look and feel like a classic horror film from the 1930s or 40s. From the production design to the lighting, the lensing and even the acting, everything has this very timeless and authentic feeling. To stay consistent with this visual language, we focused on solutions that could have been produced during that time period, without cg as a recourse.

We knew this needed to be dark, mysterious, somewhat sinister and we also wanted to play up the vintage look and embrace the imperfections of something made by hand. 

The paper solution allowed us to play with light and shadow in fascinating ways that felt very much of that time.

Since the sequence takes place at the end of the film, we could use some of our favorite moments from the film to create a narrative that celebrates what we just watched. The illustrated vignettes are either directly inspired by scenes from the film or events that we imagined based on the story.

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Proud ♥

It’s fitting that Sarofsky is responsible for both the opening and ending sequences of ‘Werewolf by Night’ – their work really ties our film together, and wholly embodies the aesthetic that I set out to create when we began. Thank you, Sarofsky!

The Opening Sequence

For the opening sequence, we needed to establish the universe in which the story takes place – to show the audience how and why we ended up where we are when the action begins.

We created a series of illustrations that visually represented the story being narrated. Our talented illustrator nailed a style that feels like it could belong behind a glass case in a museum. The intricate sketches are inspired by old etchings and scientific studies which bring that authenticity we were looking for.


These illustrations were brought into After Effects where we animated a virtual camera, timed out to a reference edit, showing different details that tell the story visually. Ultimately, the illustration fades into the live action using the waxing gibbous moon as a connecting element.

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Initial Tests and Look Development
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How it came to life

After watching a rough-cut of the special, we brainstormed some ideas for vignettes that could work as part of the sequence. These were presented to the filmmakers in the form of a very rough sketch accompanied by a sentence-long description.

Once we had a selection, we started progressively adding more detail to the illustrations and edited a boardomatic to get a sense of timing.

With a sense of how long each shot needed to be, we placed the vector layers in 3D space and we animated the camera. This previz, helped us plan for the shoot by giving us physically accurate measurements, determining what lenses we should test out, and how fast the camera needed to move. Getting the full previz approved by the Marvel team was essential before starting to cut the illustrations out of paper, which was a very laborious process.

The Paper Illustrations

We collaborated with Javier Rodriguez Garcia (Lobulo), who specializes in the art of papercraft, to create the illustrations we filmed.

All the illustrations consist of layers of cut out paper that interact with the light shining through them. The most complex illustrations consisted of 20+ layers!

It was great to have the ability to recreate old school techniques through my paper craft. I created tactile illustrations and analog animations using the same methods employed in the 1950’s in classic series, like ‘The Twilight Zone.’

The Shoot

On its face this project seemed simple but was actually deceptively tricky. We were shooting small objects very close with a repeatable camera move. The camera was only moving about a foot so there was no need for any massive motion control rigs. It was a bit of a search to find the right tool for that. Also to achieve the depth of field needed at such close distances required a deep F-stop and we were mostly lighting through thick paper. 

So we tested out a bunch of different types of lighting fixtures before the actual shoot days. In the end it came down to something pretty old school – Mole Richardson tungsten fresnels. We could get the fixtures close enough to the shadow box to achieve the levels we needed, and also the focusability and crispness of the light beam really helped bring out the texture of the paper when we put them through the sides or the top.

The Official Logo and Typography!

The “Werewolf by Night” logo was used not only in the film but also in all marketing materials. The typeface of choice is Priori, which is actually a 21st century typeface inspired by old street signage and lettering from London neighborhoods. The typeface has the perfect personality added by alternate glyphs that mix the old and the new in a very unique way.

The extreme drop shadow instantly takes us to another time and into the style of classic horror films from the 30’s and 40s.

A Very Spooky Night

We had the privilege of joining our client for a screening of the film at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in Los Angeles, under a full moon!

This was a great opportunity to watch the film on the big screen, but also to get to hang out with the incredible Marvel Studios team who we worked with remotely for so long!

I see the work we produced for ‘Werewolf by Night’ as a testament to Sarofsky’s adaptability to new and unique challenges. We are problem solvers who venture beyond the traditional motion graphics realm and thrive when faced with projects that stimulate our imagination and creativity.

Project Credits 
  • Executive Creative Director
    Erin Sarofsky
  • Executive Producer
    Steven Anderson
  • Creative Director
    Duarte Elvas
  • Producer
    Andrew Rosenstein
  • Illustrator/Paper Artist (MOE)
    Javier Rodríguez García (Lobulo)
  • Editor (MOE)
    Tom Pastorelle
  • 3D Previz Artist (MOE)
    Dean Ripper
  • Director of Photography (MOE)
    Mike Bove
  • Line Producer (MOE)
    Raphaela Kurzen
  • Prop Master (MOE)
    Andy Mason
  • Illustration (Opening)
    Tricia Kleinot
  • Animation (Opening)
    Tyler Scheitlin
  • Typography
    Andrei Popa
  • Daniel Geiszler
Client Credits 
  • Client
    Marvel Studios
  • Film Director
    Michael Giacchino
  • Editor
    Jeffrey Ford
  • Executive Producer
    Brian Gay
  • Post Production Supervisor
    Tristan Mathews
  • Dir. of Post Production/ Finishing
    Morning Star Schott
  • VFX Asst. Coordinator
    Hank Kilgore
  • Assistant Editors
    Matt Barton
  • Robin Buday

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