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When production studio Elastic first began working on opening titles for the new HBO series True Detective, the team read scripts for the first three episodes before even considering the visual treatment. The execution came out of an understanding of the story and early conversations with the show’s creators, who mentioned that the landscape and setting of the series—a late-1990s Louisiana heavily influenced by oil drilling—is used to reflect the characters’ internal struggles. This led to an exploration of double exposures, in which fragments of the landscape appear within images of the human figures, suggesting a window into an internal world and visually building the characters’ portraits out of the strange and wild beauty of the Gulf Coast.

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