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The Twilight Zone ~ 1959 ~ Original Opening Title ~ UPA Animation

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Published on Jun 17, 2013

Theme music by Bernard Herrmann

Crafted by UPA in the spring of 1958. The man in charge of this project was Herb Klynn, big boss of many things at the studio, especially commercials. An artist in his own right, he was a hands-on executive. The studio head at the time was Stephen Bosustow.

Rudy Larriva was the director/animator. The animation consisted of pans, trucks, and cross-dissolves. At that time, fade-outs and fade-ins were avoided like the plague (they were considered old hat and smacked of early silent and 1930s films.) It is interesting to note, however, that NOW, this many years later, directors have invented them again.

Sam Clayberger drew the layout and painted the backgrounds and the foggy, web-like overlay, which was not shot as an overlay, but separately so it could be out of focus and cross-dissolved over the "cave". I'm not positive, but it looks like that "web" was also used with some live action shots, including that famous medium shot of Rod Serling talking to the camera.

Joe Messerli, designed and painted the logo and the overlays (actually, they were called underlays because they worked under the logo) of the twinkling galaxy with airbrush, on two "pan" cells. It was also cross-dissolved with other elements.

Bernard Herrmann's original opening theme music lasted throughout the first season. For the final five episodes of the season, the show's original surrealist "pit and summit" opening montage and narration was replaced by a piece featuring a blinking eye and shorter narration, and a truncated version of Herrmann's theme.

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