HBO teamed with creative agency Imaginary Forces to reimagine its iconic feature presentation open, which first launched in 1983.

The new sequence debuted last weekend in front of Saturday’s first-run airing of X-Men: Apocalypse, and launched Tuesday across all cable, digital and streaming platforms.

“This opening is an iconic piece of culture, so to be asked to reimagine that — it’s exciting,” said Imaginary Forces co-founder Peter Frankfurt in a statement. “[O]ne of the real challenges was referencing the original but not being nostalgic. What we wanted to do is to capture that sense of wonder and wow. That’s not a nostalgic feeling, that’s a present day feeling - so we had to make something fairly technologically advanced, but also authentic.”

Directed by Dan Gregoras for Imaginary Forces, the open combines live-action talent photography with complex CG environments and a newly interpreted score to create something immersive and magical.

The premium cable network turned to Man Made Music to adapt the original score, which was re-recorded with a full orchestra.

“Everyone knows the iconic HBO theme, and it was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to transform it once again, this time with the IF team,” said Man Made Music’s Joel Beckerman. “We knew that we had to help bring IF’s stunning visual reimagining to life, while also creating something that would stand on its own musically. This led us to augment the orchestra with many layers of organic and synthetic texture to help sonically bring the theme into the future, while keeping one foot grounded in HBO’s legacy.”


Network: HBO

Head of Marketing: Chris Spadaccini

Creative Director: Alyson Bradshaw

Agency: Imaginary Forces

Co-Founder: Peter Frankfurt

Executive Producer: Jon Hassell

Director: Dan Gregoras

Music: Man Made Music

Founder: Joel Beckerman

Arranger: Chris Knight

Music producers: Mickey Alexander & Joel Beckerman


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