NBC’s Saturday Night Live launched its 38th in season in 2012 with a new title sequence designed by Pentagram, a large design consultancy. The intro is inspired by the lights and architecture of New York City at night. Like all seasons the sequence introduces the cast, mentions the title and has its title song in the background.Saturday Night Live is known for being broadcast live from New York, and the title sequence always portrays the city as a lively, energetic, big party. Although the show is a sketch comedy they introduce the cast as reality stars with the city as a glamorous backdrop.
The title typography and the city itself are represented through a glowing, abstract deconstruction of prisms, slices of light and dots that represent the lights of new york. The new sequence is different in that the cast introductions are done through portraits instead of video and are animated with jump cuts.
Additionally the font of the cast names has changed and now the first and last name overlap. The typography is significant as the cast names appear as a series of circles that come together to form letters, to represent light flares. At the same time, images are sliced and layered to create dynamic stills and movement.
The editing creates diamond-like facets that are constantly shifting, like reflections of light in glass or glimpses of the city from a moving taxi. The director of photography, Harrison Boyce, shot the streets of NYC, which are used as transitions between the portraits of cast members by Mary Ellen Matthews, as is done in most of the SNL opening title sequences.