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How did this project come about? What was your initial brief from the client?
It took 3 years to design and build the Astra’s new 3B satellite. Comparably, producing the materials to help market this was presumably a large task in and of itself – from research and ideation to development of the brochure and final production of the documentaries. Can you reflect upon the timeline for producing the deliverables in full?
There are 7 films in all, how long did they take to produce?
How much freedom was there in the structure of the narrative? Can you expand upon the development process?
Who are these films intended for? They seem a lot like science films you might see in school, but with a bit more humor and obviously a bit of a marketing message as well…
The super-graphic and diagrammatic style of the illustration and animation really makes the story of each film very clear, how was that direction arrived at? Were there other styles that were explored?
We did some research and really embraced the data you might find within the pages of a boring technical manual. Out of context, some of these diagrams can be works of art in their own right.
These really are the films we wished we had been shown in physics lessons at school. Our starting point was what would interest us and hold our attention? At script stage we considered other executional approaches but animation was certainly the most practical, given the diagrammatic content and the fact that much of the narrative takes place 36,000 km above the Earth!
Great copy is as essential as the visuals in telling a successful story. Since these films hinge largely on the script, how important was it to you to recruit someone as notable as Johnny Ball for the VO?
Steve Bisenius (Sr. Mgr., Technical Svcs. at ASTRA) states that some of the key selling points of this new satellite are its efficiency and scalability. Accordingly, I feel that the films reflect these aspects beautifully – they are presented in a stylistically transcendent, simplified modernity, while dually causal in their benefits of marketing and educational purposes. Is it accurate to make the association that the chosen direction for the films represents the characteristics of the actual satellite in kind?
How much of a collaborative process this project was, if at all, with those on the team, such as Sam Renwick, illustration and Chris Perry, animation?
Paul, you’re known for taking an active role in the development of a project rather than acting solely as a sideline director. Did you get your hands dirty in this project as well?
As an aside, I’m always interested in narratives of people’s lives, and yours is an exceptionally brilliant one: You received a PhD in Biochemistry before becoming an incredibly successful designer/director. An exceptional example of balanced cerebral hemispheres if I’ve ever heard of one. What made you decide to take the leap into advertising?
Do you feel that your dedication, drive and commitment to detail on a scholarly level has aided in your achievements in these more creative contexts? Was it hard for you to adjust from empirical study to more subjective themes?
Are you working on other motion-related pieces, or anything new coming up that you’re excited about? What’s on the horizon for This is Real Art?
This is Real Art works on a vast array of projects. Everything from film to branding to websites to magazine design, to advertising. Current motion-related projects are more films for Astra.
Thanks, Paul, for taking the time to talk with us!