Prologue: MTV Video Music Awards 2009

MTV has found a good thing, and they’re sticking to it. For the third year in a row, they’ve tapped LA-based Prologue to create the entire graphics package for their colossal Video Music Awards show.

Directed by Ilya Abulhanov, the condensed sans-serif type and annotated landscapes of the VMA 2009 package build upon the look Ilya established for the OFFF 2009 titles. In the VMA 2009 package, though, the landscape is alive, modifying itself in subtle but surreal ways.

Gigantic telescoping streetlights and strings of gondolas adorn the familiar skyline of New York City, creating a panoply of mechanical transformations that seem to be a literalization of Rem Koolhaus’ vision of a “delirious New York.” Ilya’s split-screen moments create dizzying multiplications of the city, piling density upon density.

I’m reminded a little of Rob Chiu and Chris Hewitt’s titles for Offf New York. Ben “HECQ” Lukas Boysen did a masterful job sound designing both projects, creating a wild mix of tension and wonder that is driven as much by pockets of poignant silence as it is by the tightly controlled cacophony of the city.


Ilya Abulhanov

Elizabeth Newman

Assistant Camera:
Lee Buckley


Ilya Abulhanov

Elizabeth Newman

Design & Animation:
Ilya Abulhanov
Clarisa Valdez
Georgia Tribuiani
Andrew Hildebrand
Jonny Sidlo
Takayuki Sato
Daniel Kloehn
Lilit Hayrapetyan
Gary Mau
Pietro Desopo

Ilya Abulhanov
Gabriel J. Diaz
Brant Duncan

Sound Design & Music: Ben Lukas Boysen / HECQ

Client: MTV, Lee Lodge, Creative Producer