Pablo Ferro

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Pablo Ferro
Pablo Ferro at the AIGA in Houston, 2011
Born(1935-01-15)January 15, 1935
Antilla, Oriente Province, Cuba[1]
DiedNovember 16, 2018(2018-11-16) (aged 83)
Occupation(s)Graphic designer, Film title designer
Years active1950s–2010s

Pablo Ferro (January 15, 1935 – November 16, 2018)[2] was a Cuban-American graphic designer, film titles designer, and founder of Pablo Ferro Films.[3]


Born in Antilla,[1] Oriente Province, Cuba, he was raised on a remote farm before emigrating to New York with his family as a teenager.[4]


Ferro taught himself animation from a book by Preston Blair.[5] In the mid-1950s he began freelancing in the New York animation industry for Academy Pictures and Elektra Studios.[6] He found his first solid job with a company that made commercials. It was while working there that he met and befriended former Disney animator Bill Tytla, who became a mentor. Another co-worker was Stan Lee, the then-future editor of Marvel Comics, with whom he created a series of science fiction adventure comics. In 1961 he became one of the partners to form Ferro, Mogubgub and Schwartz with animation stylist Fred Mogubgub and comics artist Lew Schwartz, and in 1964 he formed Pablo Ferro Films.

Film and commercial work[edit]

Ferro's diverse film work ranged from the title sequence for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove to the multi-dynamic image montage of the original The Thomas Crown Affair.[7] He was a pioneer of quick-cut editing, multiple screen images.[8] Ferro's visual style has influenced many in film, television, animation, commercials, novels and children's books.

A self-taught filmmaker, Ferro initially gained prominence with animations such as the first color NBC Peacock and the Burlington Mills "stitching" logo, as well as technologically novel visual presentations, including the Singer Pavilion's film at the 1964 New York World's Fair – the first time film projectors were used to create multiple-screen images.[9]

Hand-drawn lettering by Ferro for the opening credits of Stop Making Sense, 1984

Woman of Straw, Bullitt, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Citizens Band, Philadelphia, Married to the Mob, Beetlejuice, and To Live and Die in L.A. are among over 100 films that have featured his creations.[10] Ferro's hand-drawn opening segments have appeared in films ranging from Stop Making Sense and American Heart to The Addams Family and Men in Black, and his trailers have helped introduce such films as A Clockwork Orange, Jesus Christ Superstar, O Lucky Man! and Zardoz.[11]

Ferro worked on several films with his close friend, the film director Hal Ashby, including Harold and Maude, Bound For Glory, and Being There, and also co-directed Ashby's 1983 concert film of The Rolling Stones, Let's Spend the Night Together. Ferro worked with Gus Van Sant on To Die For and Good Will Hunting. In addition to directing and producing his own feature film, Me, Myself & I (1992) with George Segal and JoBeth Williams, he performed as an actor for Robert Downey Sr. as Chief Cloud In the Head in Greaser's Palace as well as a salsa dancer in Hugo Pool.

Ferro worked as visual consultant, second-unit director on several films, such as contributing the "pornographic" effects to a special montage within Midnight Cowboy. Ferro was supervising editor on The Night They Raided Minsky's, and received a nomination in 1984 for an American Video Award (AVA) for his work as supervising editor of Michael Jackson's music video "Beat It,"[12][13] the first year an award was given in that category. Ferro also produced and directed numerous short films such as The Inflatable Doll.


Ferro won over 70 national and international awards, among them numerous Clios, a DGA Excellence in Film Award, and several Lifetime Achievement awards. He has also received nominations from such highly regarded institutions as the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt. In 1999 Ferro was awarded the prestigious DaimlerChrysler Design Award, and in 2000 Ferro was inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Ferro's titles and montage sequences have appeared in 12 Academy Award winning films. He had been working on a children's book, a graphic novel. He did the animation on his own documentary, Pablo, which was released in 2012.[14]

Selected film title sequences[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Covert, Nadine (January 4, 2013). "The Man Behind the Movies: Who is Pablo Ferro?". Cuban Art News. Archived from the original on October 25, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Barnes, Mike (18 November 2018). "Pablo Ferro, Famed Title Designer on 'Dr. Strangelove,' 'Clockwork Orange' and 'Bullitt,' Dies at 83". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  3. ^ Heller, Steven. "Pablo Ferro". ADC. Art Directors Club of New York. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Willis, Holly. "Pablo Ferro". AIGA. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Designer Pablo Ferro". Art of the Title. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Incorporated. 1960.
  7. ^ Heller, Steven (November 21, 2013). "Giving Credit to the Guy Who Revolutionized Movie Credits". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Heller, Steven. "Mr. Roughcut". Eye Magazine. No. Summer, 1999. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  9. ^ "Pablo Ferro: A Career Retrospective, Part 1". Art of the Title. 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Pablo Ferro: A Career Retrospective, Part 3". Art of the Title. 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Pablo Ferro: A Career Retrospective, Part 2". Art of the Title. 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Jackson Nominated for 24 American Video Awards". Town Talk. Alexandria-Pineville, Louisiana, USA. UPI. March 7, 1984. p. C-5. Retrieved August 1, 2017 – via access icon
  13. ^ Heller, Steven (1999). "Eye Magazine | Feature | Mr Roughcut". Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  14. ^[user-generated source]

External links[edit]