Top 10 Opening Title Sequence Styles for TV and Film

A list of the most inspiring and recognizable styles for video openers for After Effects.

Video and Audio
Portrait for EnvatoBy Envato  |  Updated November 19, 2020

Opening sequence titles set the tone for the rest of your video.

The best TV shows and films are well-known for their memorable, iconic openers; it’s even inspired award categories and Emmy nominations. Much like film genres themselves, we’ve noticed trends towards evolving styles of movie and TV opening sequences. Here’s a list of the top 10 most inspiring and recognizable styles for openers (and After Effects templates to match, so that you can steal the style for your own video productions!).

1. Dramatic and Hypnotic

We’re drawing inspiration from Patrick Clair here, the video producer behind the opening sequence of HBO’s Westworld and True Detective. Think slow, hypnotic, and almost surrealist-style imagery.

Get the look with this ink and water-inspired template, INK; this hazy Smoke Opener; or these muted Elegant Opening Titles.

2. Medieval-Inspired

The gold standard for this is the iconic intro scene from Game of Thrones, which captivated over 10 million viewers last season.

Make your own Westeros-inspired intro with this Cinematic Trailer Intro; this Epic Logo & Title; or this rocky Thrones of Swords opener. You might also need an epic, medieval-inspired soundtrack, or vintage book design.

3. Comic Book

Whether you’re more into the traditional, bright, retro-inspired comic designs or the more modern, edgy Captain America style, this look is easy to replicate for your own video. Here’s a short clip we put together to highlight the Civil War After Effects template:

For more comic book style openers check out these items from Envato Elements.

4. Sci-fi and Thriller

The right intro to a scary movie sequence can leave your audience afraid from the very beginning. I still remember the intro of American Horror Story Season 1 because of it’s super-creepy ‘baby dolls in the basement’ scenes, but also for the imaginative, well-designed typography.

Are you more of a classic, like The Shining, or modern, like American Horror Story? Here’s a few of my favorite creepy intros:

5. Abstract and Glitchy

If you want to create a style that’s unique, but not necessarily tied to a specific theme or movie genre, the ‘glitchy’ style is on-trend and works with almost any imagery, from video, still images, or text.

6. Adventurous

The Indiana Jones intro scene is one of the most iconic in adventure films (though it’s not complete without the right royalty-free music of course).

Steal the style with some of these templates.

7. Quirky and Bright

Big, bold fonts and upbeat music match the quirky, eccentric style of TV shows like Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or NBC’s New Girl.

Get the look with some of these bright opener templates.

8. Vintage and Old-Timey

Perfect for a video set in the past, or to evoke a sense of nostalgia – like the 1946 Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

Get that vintage film look with these templates.

9. Retro Noir

Okay, retro noir is a term we made up, but you get the idea: stylish, crime-drama inspired with a hint of throwback-era look.

Create your own iconic intro with these Envato Elements templates.

10. Futuristic Meets Tech

Technology-focused and a little unsettling, we’re drawing inspiration from shows like Netflix’s Black Mirror for this dark, future-centered style.

Create your own futuristic set of titles with these templates.

For more opening title sequences for After Effects, visit Envato Elements.

For more creative inspiration, head over to the Elements Blog to read up on the latest design trendsdesign tipsinterviews and roundups

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