in media res: a media commons project
Mad Men’s opening credit sequence is full of obvious and hidden clues as to what this series is all about. The program is a stylistic hybrid merging elements of Hollywood movies and television programs from the late 1950s along with TV’s contemporaneous “quality” dramas of today. For example, the debt Matt Weiner and his creative team owes to Hitchcock is immediately apparent in this sequence with its pastiche of Saul Bass’s title work from Veritgo (the optical disorientation), North by Northwest (the iconography of the Manhattan skyline), and Psycho (the foreboding strings à la Bernard Herrmann). The use of a protagonist in black silhouette even suggests the 1955-1965 television series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, where the producer-director steps right into a black silhouetted profile of himself during the opening credits of that show.
This is a copy of textual component of "Falling Man and Mad Men". Archived with permission. The author(s) reserves all rights.
“Falling Man and Mad Men,” In Media Res, 20 April 2009 at http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2009/04/14/falling-man-and-mad-men-154.