I found an online discussion that I enjoyed enough to pull this list from. It spoke to me deeply, and I’d like to break down my favorite options.
For Indiana Jones fans, the logo fade at the start of each film, in which the Paramount logo fades into something — anything — with a similar silouette, is essential. I know it entranced me as a kid, and I was unreasonably happy when the Crystal Skull came out with a good one: a fade into a gopher hill. Now, the fifth Indy movie is inevitable, and after the Disney buyout of Lucasfilms, I’m looking forward to it. But there’s one touch they simply can’t fail on. I mean, look at the options.
1. The pyramids.
As you can see above, the three pyramids pictured almost mesh with the three mountain peaks of the logo, making for an even better transition than usual. The pyramids would have to be shot from a different angle than this one for it to work perfectly, though, and if that doesn’t work, a camera shot moving to the right might do it. But these fades haven’t been completely perfect in the past, so a little fudging is okay.
2. A mountain of books that Indy is studying behind.
Reasonable and different. Indy probably isn’t adventuring all over the globe a lot in his old age, so the action would have to start at home, before, naturally, shoving the poor guy all over the globe anyway.
3. The 60s-era Paramount logo playing in a drive-in theater.
4. A map of the Bermuda triangle.
One of my favorite possibilities: the camera shot could then pull up from the map as the wind pulls it away. We’re in a helicopter! It’s going down! Indy’s hat flies around, almost escaping the helicopter! A hand grabs it! We see the hat on the head, which raises to reveal — Sorry. Got carried away.
5. A bird’s eye shot of a similarly-shaped island.
If they use the Bermuda idea as the meat of the film, neither this or the map idea would work… At the least, Indy needs thirty minutes of scene-setting before he can get to the main adventure. But as a one-off, ten-minute mini-adventure, the Burmuda triangle would be amazing.
6. Dorsal fins.
I’ll let you guess what they would be attached to.
7. The actual mountain used in the logo. Just zoom in.
Might as well get back to basics.
8. A graded paper.
The most specific and, quite possibly, the best option:
“Could be neat if the movie opens on an A-grade on some paper. Camera pulls out further to show it flapping gently in the wind, caught on a cliff ledge cause Indy’s trying to juggle his workload with the part of the job he actually enjoys.” ~Lao_Che
Based on my experience, this is pretty accurate to a college professor’s life.