NotesThe poster was made for Village Roadshow Limited and Warner Bros. Pictures, Australia, 2003. Produced as a lenticular holographic holofoil poster it features the Matrix's iconic 'digital rain' computer typeface code. While holographic presentations are 3D representations using laser light, holofoils are a type of holographic representation using a metallic foil for the projection, in this case a shiny and heavy metallic paper base.
The designer of the customised typeface for the Matrix code was Simon Whiteley. (1) His custom-created alphabet incorporates numbers and symbols from several alphabets and cultures, and made up of mirror images of half-width Japanese Katakana characters and Western Latin letters and numerals. (2) This code is represented in the film as downward flowing characters similar to the way letters and numbers appear in Japanese texts and film credits. This unusual drop down effect, which forms the key element of this Matrix poster, is a highlight of the animating Matrix code.
Lynne Cartwright, the Visual Effects Supervisor at Animal Logic, supervised the creation of the film's opening title sequence, as well as the general look of the animated 'Matrix' code throughout the film, in collaboration with Lindsey Fleay and Justen Marshall. (1) The code relied upon Simon Whiteley's typeface. The brief for the effect to be 'raining' came from the Directors, Larry and Andy Wachowski. (3) The Matrix code received the Runner-up Award in the 1999 Jesse Garson Award for In-film typography or opening credit sequence. (4)
The Matrix digital Rain is sometimes also referred to as 'green rain', and was developed as a way of representing the activity of the virtual reality environment of The Matrix, on screen. Generally, the Matrix design team reserved the distinctive green colour for scenes set within 'the Matrix' or 'virtual world', using blue for scenes set in the 'real world'. (5)
The code resembles old 'green screen' displays where the letters leave a flourescent green trace on the screen. The ways the code is used in The Matrix also resembles the opening credits of the 1995 Japanese cyberpunk film, Ghost in the Shell, which had a strong influence on the Matrix. This code was used in each of the Matrix films and on the related website game, 'Path of Neo'. (5)
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, January 2013
(1) Information courtesy Lynne Cartwright, Linkedin message to curator, 5 August 2012
(2) Matrix digital rain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_digital_rain (Accessed 28 July 2012)
(3) Lynne Cartwright, phone conversation with Curator, Anne-Marie Van de Ven, 11 January, 2013
(4) The [Jessie Garsson] Award for In-film typography or Opening Credit Sequence http://www.phui.com/type/ (Accessed 30 July 2012). See also http://jesseland.phui.com/
(5) The Matrix. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix (Accessed 29 July 2012)
MadeWarner Bros. Pictures 2003