The Music of the Anuir

In partnership with Plains of Yonder Directors Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore, TONOS conceptualized and designed the opening title sequence for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Showrunners J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay, and Executive Producer Lindsey Weber challenged the team to come up with a sequence that was not only simple but far beyond what they expected.

The inspiration for the title sequence came from J.R.R. Tolkien's own words and more specifically, the origin story of Middle Earth, which was described in great detail by Tolkien but never depicted on film.

His creation story describes immortal angelic beings known as Ainur performing such beautiful music that Middle Earth is built upon their very sound. To make these angelic sounds visible, we created a title sequence that uses the natural phenomena of cymatics to bring the lore off the page and onto the screen.

Tolkienian themes such as death, immortality, good and evil, as well as fate and free will, come to life in the imagery through its ever-changing nature. Stunning, stark, and chaotic, the world forms together through a magical attraction and is torn apart within the blink of an eye.

There is an ancient and hidden power in the movement of the sand. The ethereal worlds of sound create passing impressions of tension and harmony that flow with Howard Shores’ opening title score. The symbols come and go, push and disappear as quickly as they come. Several hidden symbols represent themes and plot lines in the series. A few are right there in plain sight, while others are far more subtle and as the series unfolds, more of the story reveals itself.

The project was the result of a digital collaboration of talented creators from Seattle, Chicago, London, Barcelona, and Madrid. These creators include the lead direction team at Plains of Yonder, Fernando Cózar, Germán Diez, Colin Davis, Nicole López Naguil, Visual Effects/Animation Studio Nexus Productions, and Digital Studio MakMac.

Behind the Scenes of the Rings of Power Title Sequence
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Lead Design Studio: PLAINS OF YONDER
Directors: Katrina Crawford & Mark Bashore
Creative Director: Anthony Vitagliano
Art Directors: Katrina Crawford & Anthony Vitagliano
Editor: Mark Bashore
Producers: Jennifer Senkler, Jon Derovan
Calligrapher: Daniel Reeve
Composer: Howard Shore

Animation and Visual Effects Studio NEXUS PRODUCTIONS

Animation Director: Fernando Domínguez Cózar
Executive Producers: Laura Breaden, Colin Davis
Producer: Nicole López Naguil, Josephine Gallagher
Production Manager: Edith Chappey
VFX Supervisor: Germán Díez
Houdini Artist: Nico Domerego
Compositor: Alexandre Gaudiano
Compositor: Chiara Feriani
Compositor: Victori Jalabert
Compositor: Stephane Lugiery
Animator: Dylan White
VFX Editor: Mark van Heusden

Digital Studio MAKMAC

Art Director: Mauro Gimferrer
3D Artist: Marcos Coral
3D Artist: J.A Duran

Additional Visual Effects THE KEY VFX

VEX Production Coordinator: Blanca Escudero
VFX Production Coordinator: Silvia Cerrada Jiménez

Live Action: 37 FILMS

Shot at 37 Studio, Madrid
1st Assistant Director: Alex Pozuelo
Executive Producer: Héctor Bobo
Producer: Pilar de Andrés
Head of Production: Josué Corral
Executive Coordinator: Lucía Gonzalez
Production Manager: Alvaro Regalado
Production Coordinator: Belén Zauer
Runner: Ismael Vera
Runner: Antonio Gómez
VFX Assistant: Lucía Colom
DOP: Pablo Vallejo
Phantom Operator: Carlos Alvarez
Bolt Operator: Nicolás Alsina
Bolt Operator: Marc Debon
DIT: Vico Martín
DIT: Carlo Rho
Making of Operator: Carlos García Vidal
Gaffer: Javier Villareal
Spark / Studio Assistant: Robinson Berrio
Art Technical Advisor: Victor del Hoyo
Sand Artist: Jimena Aragoneses
On set Editor: Diego Falcone

Additional Visual Effects: THE KEY VFX

VFX Production Coordinator: Blanca Escudero
VFX Production Coordinator: Silvia Cerrada Jiménez