[London] London’s Hero
Cut&Paste hosts Fred & Eric, Animade, Territory & Golden Wolf for live animation sessions on Oct 14-15 as part of the London’s Hero collab in HP’s London/Soho ZED creative pop-up studio. Free & open-to-public.
Leftchannel: motion 2013 Opener
Columbus-based Leftchannel has been plugging away for over 10 years, but it’s been a while since we’ve posted them on Motionographer.
Their recently launched opener for the 2013 motion Conference, which kicks off this Friday in Albuquerque, breaks that silence. It’s a delightful typographic romp seasoned with cute character work and a couple visual surprises that make it worthy of repeat viewing.
Leftchannel’s Creative Director Alberto Scirocco will also be presenting three sessions at motion 2013.
Moonbot Studios: Chipotle “The Scarecrow”
Following up on Johnny Kelly’s insanely successful “Back to the Start” stop-action film for Chipotle is not an easy task. The project mopped up at award shows and was a crowd favorite. Its analogue technique meaningfully echoed Chipotle’s message of bucking factory farming and technologically-powered “progress” for a more hands-on approach to food.
Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios, who won an Academy Award for the short, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore” and set the gold standard for interactive storybooks with the accompanying Morris Lessmore iPad app, was up for the challenge.
Their recently released “The Scarecrow” echoes many of the same themes as “Back to the Start,” and its soundtrack also features a cover of a famous song performed by an unexpected artist. While “Back to the Start” had Willie Nelson singing Coldplay, in “The Scarecrow” Fiona Apple sings “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The effect is equal parts haunting and magical.
It’s also worth noting that Moonbot’s film is
Where “Back to the Start” shined a bright light on the hand-crafted nature of its production, “The Scarecrow” dives deeper into its protagonist’s life. While both films are emotionally powerful, “The Scarecrow” feels more like a mini-feature film, executed with the same scale and grandeur as a Pixar film.
Scarecrow: The Game
Keeping with the Morris Lessmore formula, Moonbot Studios also created an iOS game to accompany “The Scarecrow.” From Moonbot:
1 Typeface. 110 Animators.
Purveyors of animated typography, Animography, have released their latest project Franchise Animated:
Even Motionographer has its own animated title!
Best of all, it’s free. Hooray.
Calango, the force behind Animography, shared some of the process behind the project.
Lauren Indovina: 10,000 Arrows to the Heart
Aside from being a Creative Director and Designer at Psyop since 2008 and collecting a number of top honors (Clios, ADC, BDA, AICP and the Emmys, to name a few,) Lauren Indovina has finally launched her web presence and it’s a goldmine.
Chocked full of detailed worlds and a wide range of style frames, lush paintings and drawings — including, of course, her creative direction and design work — Lauren has given us the go ahead to share her work at long last.
Lauren also wrote a compelling essay about her experience in the industry and how the road traveled is not always paved with love. It is titled “10,000 Arrows to the Heart” (after Interview below). Her words offer us an honest and ardent look how she became a Creative Director at Psyop and what it means to work from the heart and excel through failure.
In your formative years, what did you excel in (artistically or not)?
My father is an architect. I grew up in his design: a Victorian home with modern interiors, stained glass, ornate staircases and floating walls. The halls were adorned with his paintings of oddly posed people, futuristic landscapes with eclipsed suns. Surreal. His imagination inspired mine. My parents encouraged me and led by example: independence, passion, curiosity.
I finagled situations so that day camps became art camps, study halls were studio time. At 16, I attended a competitive summer program, Pennsylvania Governors School for the Arts, where I studied Indonesian shadow puppetry and made 7-foot tall ceramic sculptures. As this was unusual behavior, I got a lot of attention, accolades and awards, which didn’t matter. I just really wanted to be in the studio.
Nathan Love: Summer 2013
Nico Casavecchia: “A Boy And His Atom” The World’s Smallest Movie
Working with animation studio Punga,1stAveMachine’s Nico Casavecchia had the honor of creating the world’s first movie at the scale of individual atoms — the world’s smallest movie — at least until someone figures out how to animate quarks.
Nico took some time to share details about the unique process behind this project.
How did this job come about?
The job came to 1stAvenueMachine in November of 2012, and we started having the initial meetings with Ogilvy & Mather around then.
Was there a script or did you have to propose a story?
We worked on the script for a long time. We had different ideas on how to approach it. Originally, it was related with an actual scientific achievement, which is connected to the use of nanotechnology for data storage, so we were working with a lot of concepts around the idea of human memories, information, things like that.
I was obsessed with the plaque designed by Carl Sagan for the Pioneer probe sent to Jupiter. I thought, “If we’re writing a message with atoms, it has to be transcendent and celebrate human achievements.” It was a lot of pressure!
I started thinking about animating a famous haiku, the smallest poetic form, or illustrating a quote of Carl Sagan on how atoms are the building blocks of life.
Fortunately, the guys at the agency brought me back to reality and suggested to have fun with it. They came up with this little story, which is human and universal. They wanted something that didn’t need words — which now seems like the right decision. Once we had the script, I started fleshing out the way to tell the story in the most economic format possible.
I’m assuming there were a lot of technical limitations for this project. Did you have to learn a lot about molecular imaging in order to even begin thinking about this project?
[NYC] Collider Digital Production Conference
Lilit Hayrapetyan updates
Don’t Fail Idaho (Extended Version) by Buck
Over the last several years, Buck has made a point of creating elegantly clever PSAs for causes they believe in. For their latest visual essay, they partnered with Idaho-based agency Drake Cooper to spread the message of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
With charming audio from Echolab, the spot has a folksy quality befitting its subject matter. As usual for Buck, the transitions serve up delightful surprises by the eye-full while visual metaphors peppered throughout the poignant script give the spot equal measures of weight and wit.
Roof launches in NYC
Target and LA Live
While all the videos are cleverly executed, Gentleman Scholar’s stands out for its excellent character work and interplay of 2D and 3D elements. It lives up to its title, “Surprise and Delight,” by introducing a lovable cast of creatures with charming panache.
Other projects for the Target LA Live
Glassworks Amsterdam for G-Star: The Art of Raw
Collaborating with G-Star’s in-house creative team, Glassworks Amsterdam created a gorgeous odyssey through the production of denim as part of G-Star’s “Art of RAW” campaign.
Directed by Glassworks’ own Rudiger Kaltenhauser, the spot mimics macro photography, creating a hyper-real journey that brims with tactile details, despite being entirely CG.
In-Depth Coverage: Stylefames NY Opener
Conference openers have become the vehicle of choice for many studios to show what they can do without an overbearing client or agency brief hemming them in. The creative contraints for conference openers are usually very loose (probably owning to the guilt organizers feel for not being able to pay anyone for their work), inviting experimentation and risk-taking that’s hard to find in the commercial world.
While the budgets may be low, the expectations are very high. And for a conference about “the art of the pitch,” the expectations are unusually high.
A Meeting of the Minds
As usual, the audio deserves as bright a spotlight as the visuals — and in this case, the man behind the audio, John Black (CypherAudio) had a special role to play in this collaboration.
We got the inside scoop on the process behind the project from John Black, Anthony Scott Burns and Chris Bahry of Tendril.
Interview with Anthony Scott Burns, Chris Bahry (Tendril) and John Black (Cypheraudio)
John, let’s start with you, since it many ways this collaboration began with you. Tell us how that came about.
John Black/Cypheraudio: During my initial meeting with Stephen and Heather [of Stash Magazine, organizers of the Style Frames NY event], they asked me who I would be interested in working with to create the opening. I immediately suggested Tendril.
Sam Mason and Pete Candeland: Mazda “Incredible World”
Strange Beast put director Sam Mason and creative director Pete Candeland together on “Incredible World,” a stunning advert for Mazda and agency Garage/Team Mazda. The spot follows a new model Mazda CX-9 through seamlessly integrated landscapes rendered in lushly stylized CG.
Gabe Askew: “Goat and Aaron”
Gabe Askew (Hornet) is no stranger to Motionographer. We posted his first break-out project here, an unofficial music video for Grizzly Bears “Two Weeks” that seemed to garner more interest online than the official video.
Since then, he signed with NY-based production company Hornet and has been developing his storytelling chops. His recently released short film, “Goat and Aaron,” shows the same penchant for tactility as his other work, but it contains something new for Askew: character dialogue.
We caught up with Gabe to get some insight into the process behind the project.
Q&A with Gabe Askew
The look for this short is beautiful. It seems to be the result of mixing many different techniques. Can you talk about the techniques you used?
The world you’ve created for the short is brimming with lovely textures. What was the thinking behind building the world with such a tactile quality?
Prologue: “Elementary” Title Sequence
Simon carries Prologue’s legacy of impeccably crafted title work forward. His penchant for live action elements reminds me of my favorite work from Kyle Cooper, Prologue’s founder. Both Cooper and Clowes’ work leverage visual metaphors to foreshadow elements of the narrative ahead.
Both also bring a graphic designer’s eye to their framing. Credits appear in perfectly shaped lagoons of negative space, nestled between gritty textures and golden light. It’s a subtle art, one that Clowes commands with a mastery befitting Prologue.
Tip ‘o the hat to Ash Thorp.