And yes, you can watch the complete sequence right here, right now.
For Halloween 2018’s opening credits, the iconic jack-o’lantern from the original film is quite literally reborn, pitch perfectly personifying everything this year’s sequel stands for. At the start, the pumpkin is squashed and dead, much like the original franchise was prior to this year, but as the credits play out, the classic ’78 jack-o’lantern slowly returns to its former glory.
The new credits sequence was a collaboration between production designer Richard Wright and the Greenhaus GFX team, and the whole thing was (mostly) pulled off practically. Speaking with Filmmaker Magazine, Wright explained how the whole sequence was done, revealing that it wasn’t CGI but rather a real pumpkin rotting in time-lapse… and then reversed.
“When the idea came up I was immediately like, ‘Let me do it,’” Wright told the site. “I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to film. I abandoned my hopes of being a director of photography a while ago and just decided to focus on [being a production designer], but it’s kind of awesome that I got to shoot a tiny little part of the number one movie in the country.”
He continued, “We had purchased [the pumpkins] in November from a farmers’ market that had a couple pallets full left over from Halloween 2017. My art department arranged to have them stored in a walk-in fridge for a few months and I think they had to soak them in a vinegar bath to keep them from discoloring. When the idea to shoot the time lapse developed, we put aside all of the good enough looking pumpkins that were left over to use for that purpose. [We] lit the pumpkins mostly with Home Depot lights like the kind you’d put under your kitchen cabinets. It was super low-tech. It was literally done for a couple hundred dollars.”
The pumpkins were filmed for an entire week, with Wright’s camera snapping one shot every 60 seconds. In post, the flickering candle was added, as was the camera’s slow push-in.
“It wasn’t originally conceived to run in reverse, but I think it works nicely,” Wright noted in the chat. “It gives this sense of the rebirth [of the franchise], 40 years after the original.”