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Vikings title sequence

Motion Graphics, Entertainment

Working with Take 5 Productions, Mill director Rama Allen and team conjured an opening title sequence for the History Channel's epic drama series Vikings that immerses viewers in the world of the mighty Norsemen.

“Ritual. Supernature. Memory. Visions. Salt. Gold. Smoke. Sex. Metal. Blood. Gods. Fire. Death. Honor. Family and the sea… are all Viking themes we drew from,” explained Allen. “We sought the haunting, ancient, fearsome and visceral part of us. We were given a blank canvas, so we began with the music: Fever Ray's “If I Had A Heart” became the soundtrack to our development, our pitch and eventually the finished work.”

The titles were inspired by the Nine Sisters folktale from The Sagas of Icelanders, in which the goddesses of the waves pluck Viking explorers from their ships and pull them to a sensual, dark and watery grave. The Vikings’ relationship with death was built on honor, inevitability, sex and the constant presence of gods pulsing through every grain of sand and swell of the ocean.

In the sequence we follow the separation of a Viking from the living. He slips into darkness amongst the ornaments of his life: weaponry, gold and bone. His fading memory flickers throughout before he is consumed by one of the ‘Sisters.’ He is left a shell below the waves before we learn he is not alone, but one of many sinking below the creeping surge of Viking raiders above. As the titles draw to a close, the fiery massive raid assaults a darkened coast line.

Johan Renck, director; Take 5 Productions, production company; Michael Hirst, writer/executive producer; Morgan O’Sullivan, executive producer; Sheila Hockin, executive producer; Bill Goddard, co-Producer; Mill+, content production; Rama Allen, director; Audrey Davis, art director; Danielle Amaral, head of design production; Ian Bearce, head of content; Rich Schwab, line producer; Jon Simonetta, production manager; Khalid Mohtaseb, DOP; Adam Carboni, 2nd unit DP; Nick Midwig, DIT; Linette Delmonico, stylist; Jacqueline Valenca, EFX makeup; Joseph Paul Sciacca, prop; Dan Stewart, camera PA, Chuck Simmons, PA; Shannon Rusbuldt/Bruce Raubenheimer, talent; The Mill, editing, post-production and VFX; Ryan McKenna, editor; Jessica Ledoux, edit assist; Westley Sarokin, VFX Supervisor; Westley Sarokin/Danny Morris, lead 2D artists; Sandor Toledo/Vince Baertsoen, lead 3D artists; Suzanne Dyer/Robert Bruce (Nuke), 2D artists; Rubem Vanderbroek/Olivier Varteressian, 3D artists; Damien Van Der Cruyssen, colorist.