Paramount Pictures
Jason Reitman


Main title design
Tape deck shoot live-action direction

Young Adult

In the opening title sequence for Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, Mavis (Charlize Theron) obsessively repeats the same song over and over as she drives back to her hometown, where she plans to reclaim her high school sweetheart from his wife and baby.

Jason came to us with the idea that the title sequence would be part of a driving sequence. He wanted to show the inside of a car cassette deck with the spools rewinding as Mavis keeps going back to the part in the song she knows by heart. The repetition and inner workings of the tape deck allude to both Mavis’s inability to move forward as well as the mechanical, calculating nature of her personality.

o create the sequence we acquired a number of used car cassette decks to dismantle, investigate and reconfigure, providing a spark of electricity to the long disused gears. We then hunted down a ‘90s style Memorex cassette tape - the pink, yellow and blue kind that Mavis still keeps in her car.

With our DP, Brett Juskalian, we filmed the cassette decks in macro on a RED. The decks were placed on a remote control platform, allowing us to create beautiful and subtle motion. Thanks to our friend Damon Seeley for his dismantling and soldering expertise with the small electronic devices.

For more about the shoot, check out this blog post.