Netflix: The Devil Knows (Exploratory)

Renamed: The Devil Next Door

Main title sequence exploratory for “The Devil Knows” feature film on Netflix — renamed “The Devil Next Door.” This series explores the trial of John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian immigrant in Ohio accused of being an infamous Treblinka death camp guard called “Ivan the Terrible.” Created at Union Editorial.

Main Title Sequence – Pitch Frames

The Devil Next Door

The overall theme in our first round of exploratory for The Devil Knows main title sequence is the devil among us. We combine high resolution stills and eroded vintage live-action imagery, overlayed via compositing and animation to create neo-noir vignettes. These vignettes thus suggest two sides of a story simultaneously… they build tension, hinting at malice and conflict in the beginning, then slowly build up to reveal two Demjanjuks. These are our doppelgängers: John Demjanjuk the American union-member and auto-worker, and Ivan Demjanjuk the WWII concentration camp guard.

We begin with John Demjanjuk’s backstory in America. These first scenes referencea grand industrial American Dream of the 1960’s and 1970’s with imagery specific to Brook Park and Cleveland. This is the blue collar dream of the 60’s & 70’s; the Rust-Belt dream. A moment in American history when large scale postwar automobile manufacturing was bundled with the promise of steady industrial work. The result, a booming suburban life built around unions and factories, steel and automobiles. It’s the story of American cities like Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. For The Devil Knows, this is the story of John Demjanjuk, the UAW member
and Brook Park resident, who was employed in a Ford factory as a diesel engine mechanic.

Once we navigate the backstory of John Demjanjuk’s life as an American, we begin to explore imagery of Ivan Demjanjuk the concentration camp guard. We montage high-resolution imagery and vintage archival selects from WWII to explore the doppelgänger Demjanjuk. Many of these second-half vignettes blend imagery together from the Industrial America story and the Nazi story to further explore the Film Noir duality of this story.

Client: Netflix
Directors: Yossi Bloch & Daniel Sivan
Artists: Sean Vickery, Jun Lee, Aldo Gonzalez
Studio: Union Editorial