March 21, 2007


The movie opens on Thornton’s Charlie Farmer character, who’s first seen in the distance as a lone figure on horseback, riding across a lunar-like Texas landscape dressed in his NASA suit, trying to rescue a runaway calf. 

The main title is divided into a series of these strong images, and Picture Mill creative director says the studio wanted to exploit the dreamlike cinemascope imagery that opens the film. Low, wide typography hangs on the horizon as Farmer rides through the countryside in his spacesuit. The type appears to be made from the same polished steel and aluminum as a rocket.

The end titles were designed by Picture Mill art director Brad Berling and include a blend of stills and live action that open with an overlapping and layered collage of made-up news and entertainment magazine covers, Polaroid snapshots, and a sequence of a homecoming parade, shot in a news B-roll style. Also included is a staged Jay Leno interview with the hometown hero. 

“The filmmakers wanted us to keep the story going right to the very end, and it was challenging to work with the range of different material that we had to integrate in the sequence, including the Jay Leno footage, which was shot in HD,” notes Berling.  “To better fit that interview into the title and make it more filmic, we color-corrected the HD footage, enlarged and repositioned the video, painted in fake backgrounds, and added dark falloff to the edges so that the end title crawl would not be rolling over their faces.”