MK12 has just released another in-house project, a short film called TELEPHONEME. It brings the idea of “language working as a double-agent, carrying a hidden meaning with it for reasons yet-unknown” (there’s a PDF with more details in the cool site!).
The movie expertly combines live action with animation in the collective’s unique style, with neatly composited shapes and type, aged-film textures, and a beautiful nostalgic color palette. TELEPHONEME synthesizes a lot of MK12’s aesthetic, which will definitely keep on inspiring crowds of Motion Designers throughout the world.
MK12’s co-founder Ben Radatz kindly shared some insights about the project:
TELEPHONEME came about after we’d begun writing a short about how the alphabet was actually a “trojan horse” with coded messages and symbols, designed by a shadow group intent on keeping the rest of us down. While writing the piece we came across a Bell Labs-funded educational film called “The Alphabet Conspiracy,” which had pretty much the same content we were writing into our version. So we instead appropriated the voiceover and re-mixed it into a slightly darker version of itself. The voice is that of Frank Baxter, aka Dr. Research, a well-known figure in the educational film world. And, he tweets! We developed a typeface called “Chadwick” which we envisioned as a “root font” of sorts – a theoretically perfect and balanced font that concerned itself more with technical execution than visual aesthetics. This was the font that we used throughout the piece, and we set up a pretty rigid set of guidelines for it’s use. It’s not something that’s likely to be picked up on, but it made a good foundation for the rest of the piece. While voiceover is borrowed from the original film, the sound design was done in-house, borrowing from analog sources and mixing them into a very sight-for-see composition.