Visual effects shop Zoic Studios zooms into the journey of an ecstasy pill in the sinister show open for Season 3, Episode 2 of Cinemax’s original action series, Banshee. The special opening sequence appears only on the “Snakes and Whatnot” episode, which first aired on Friday, January 15th.
The concept of the shot came from show creator Jonathan Tropper, who envisioned a first person narrative depicting the genesis of the illicit drugs being produced on the show, similar to the “Life of a Bullet” main title sequence from Lord of War to open the episode. Showrunner Greg Yataines was excited about the idea, but instead proposed the concept of positioning it as a special title sequence. With this approach in place, director and show co-executive Producer Loni Peristere and Zoic VFX supervisor Dave Funston got to work storyboarding and previsualizing the sequence. They then collaborated with Tin Punch, the studio that created the regular main title sequence, to incorporate the Polaroids and titles that are in the regular open in flash moments throughout the journey of the pill.
Funston shot all of the GoPro elements in the sequence and later went on to oversee all of the CG. Zoic’s Wes Kandel consulted with the design and juxtaposition of the elements, while Tyler Nathan composited all of the elements together to weave the main Season 3 title sequence with the narrative of the special open.