Daniel Kleinman

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Daniel Kleinman (born 23 December 1955) is a British television commercial and music video director who was title sequence designer for the James Bond series of films from 1995's GoldenEye until he was replaced by MK12 for 2008's Quantum of Solace. He returned to the series to design the title sequence for 2012's Skyfall.[1]

Prior to Bond, Kleinman had directed music videos for artists such as Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Paula Abdul, Simple Minds, Wang Chung, Adam Ant and many others. His 1989 James Bond-inspired video for Gladys Knight's title song to Licence to Kill led to him being chosen as the replacement for regular Bond title designer Maurice Binder after his death in 1991. In addition to the titles, Kleinman also directed the music video for Sheryl Crow's Tomorrow Never Dies title song.

Kleinman has also directed many television commercials for companies ranging from Smirnoff's Sea and Guinness' noitulovE, to pieces for Levi's, Johnnie Walker, Durex and Audi. He also directed the iconic Boddington’s commercials featuring Melanie Sykes.

James Bond[edit]

Kleinman's appointment as title designer for the James Bond films placed greater emphasis on the use of modern technologies (such as computer generated images) into the creation of the series' title sequences, as well as an arguably greater emphasis on the integration of elements of each film's respective plots within the musical sequences.

To elaborate:

  • The titles for GoldenEye feature a two-faced woman, an allusion to the god Janus, the namesake of a character and his terrorist organisation in the film. The sequence also includes imagery of the usual scantily clad women tearing down Soviet monuments, physically destroying Communist iconography, which bridges the gap between the cold open pre-credits sequence/teaser set during the Cold War and the remainder of the film, set after the fall of the Soviet Union. A key sequence later in the film is set in a Russian dumping ground full of such damaged and redundant statues of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
  • Tomorrow Never Dies title sequence turns the Bond women into anthropomorphic symbols of technology, specifically circuitry and communications to illustrate the plot's concerns with the power of the mass media. Satellites in orbit becoming diamonds is reminiscent of Binder's sequence for Diamonds Are Forever.
  • The titles for The World Is Not Enough feature, appropriately, images of the globe, massed ranks of pumping oil derricks and the usual silhouettes of women actually forming from oil, making use of the rainbow effect of oil on water, and reflecting the storyline's central theme of the exploitation of the natural resource.
  • Die Another Day's titles further integrate plot elements by advancing the story (something not literally seen since Dr. No 's titles) by illustrating Bond (Pierce Brosnan) being tortured during his lengthy imprisonment in North Korea, complete with beatings, dunkings and scorpion stings. For the first time, the traditional shapely women are represented negatively as 'elementals' – water, electricity and extremes of hot and cold all employed in the torture.
  • The women are entirely absent, on request by director Martin Campbell[2] – for the first time since Dr. No – in the titles for Casino Royale. Kleinman's unique sequence replaces the characteristic silhouettes of naked 'lovelies' with angular ones of men (achieved via rotoscoping)[3] – specifically Bond in silhouette and a series of colourful attackers whom he dispatches as he works his way to Double-0 status, again advancing the plot. It is all set against a stylised background of casino and card-game symbolism to reflect the central theme and the poker game scenes in the film, and is reminiscent of the original paperback cover for the novel. The only women to appear are the film's Bond girl, Vesper Lynd, glimpsed as the pack's Queen of Hearts among the cross-hairs/roulette wheels, and HM The Queen on British £10 bank notes. The sequence concludes with a focus on Bond's (Daniel Craig) ice-cold blue eyes.
  • After being absent for Quantum of Solace, Kleinman returned to design the titles for Skyfall. This features the return of the scantily-clad silhouetted women, although in a sparing role and nowhere near the number seen in title sequences prior to Casino Royale. There is, again, a repeating emphasis of Bond's blue eyes, and a sniper wound in Bond's chest (accidentally inflicted in the pre-credits sequence by Miss Moneypenny). The remainder features Bond moving through multiple surreal environments, including a graveyard, a hall of mirrors, a riverbed, and Skyfall itself (the Bond family estate). Chinese lanterns (representing the portion set in Shanghai), target circles from an indoor shooting range with Bond's face, and the film's principal villain, Silva, also make an appearance; the sequence also features Silva's calling card, a red skull. The final portion recalls the film's title, with the sky quite literally falling: pistols, swords and daggers rain down on an apocalyptic rendition of the graveyard, before the sequence again concludes, as in Casino Royale, with a close zoom on Bond's eyes.

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