I had created this mock up title sequence for Friend Request but had forgotten all about it until I wrote my previous post. Exploring visual ideas (and in particular moving image ideas) is a good way to keep exploring the themes of the project / script but yet take a break from the actual writing.
Anyway, enjoy. And no, I wasn't crazy enough to hunt down all those letters myself. A guy called Thomas de Bruin did it. You can see all the letters here and download a package for Google Earth here.
Nerd bit: I created a flight path in Google Earth and set the speed of the journey to be very slow. I captured this full screen using a movie capture app. It would only run at about 10fps - but because the movement was so slow I could speed it up again. It was then brought into Final Cut Pro. A collection of cropped freeze frames isolate the letters. These had to be exported to Photoshop in order to highlight the actual letter shape. These imported final highlighted freezeframes then dissolve back in over the non-adapted freezeframes with a 2 second fade. As you can see, this means the fully defined letters gradually appear and form so slowly you almost don't notice. The clouds were composited in at the end just using a simple scaling function to make it appear as if you fly through them. Done.
(available to watch in HD on YouTube here)