Rob Reiner / Castle Rock Entertainment

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In 1995, while Creative Director at R/Greenberg L.A., Kyle Cooper and Richard Greenberg directed the opening title sequence for The American President, a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture. The romantic comedy tells the story of a widowed U.S. president who begins dating a lobbyist, thus setting up a conflict between the sense of decorum required by his public office and the need for privacy in his personal relationship.

Cooper filmed live-action footage to create an elegant montage of historical artifacts found within the White House, shooting on an existing set of the oval office constructed for the movie.

Past presidents’ signatures were projected upon the surfaces of busts and historic images. The edit employs numerous cross-dissolves and creates fluid transitions from one shot to the next in a parallel to the rousing 1984 T.V. spots promoting Reagan’s re-election campaign.

The custom glyphic-serif typography displaying the title and credits is set along formal border designs reminiscent of 19th century decorative patterns. As the sequence concludes with a formally composed, straight-on shot of the White House, the stage is set for the highest office in the land (and its circle of staff, family, and members of the press) to be thrown into upheaval upon the president’s decision to enter the dating world.

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