A Day at the 2nd Motion Graphics Review

Festival reviews are not that common here, but I had such an amazing experience at the 2nd Motion Graphics Review, that I thought it was worth sharing with you folks.

Created and organized by Raúl Casañas (advertiser at Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare and mograph enthusiast), the Motion Graphics Review is a section of The Huesca Film Festival showcasing the best computer-generated graphics from studios worldwide while bringing creatives together. It is divided into four categories: Ad in Motion, Music in Motion, Personal in Motion and Titles in Motion. The winners of each category received a special prize from STASH Magazine. This year’s edition happened on the 11th and 12th of June in Huesca, a beautiful little town situated 300 km from Barcelona, Spain.

I was fortunate to have one of my projects (done with Ryan Uhrich) selected to be screened, and since the bosses here at Thank You were cool enough to let me take a couple days off (and Radiohead were playing in Barcelona that weekend), I decided to check out the Festival with my own eyes.

The Experience:

It all began on Thursday June 11th, 6:00 am in Barcelona, where I met with MGR’s organizer Raúl Casañas and Sergi Carbonell, founder of Catalan studio Sixis. After the basic introductions, we jumped in Raúl’s car and headed out on a rather adventurous journey to Huesca; Raúl’s car had ran out of battery the night before and was running on a borrowed one. There was also a transport strike going on in Catalonia (Barcelona’s province), so it was almost impossible to find an open gas station, let alone one with gas on it, so we brought 20 liters of gas in the trunk just in case something went wrong.

After a long 4 hour drive fueled by Jamón sandwiches (and gas fumes) through Catalonia’s stunning countryside, we arrived at Huesca. We headed straight to the Festival’s building, where Raúl and Sergi, together with Juan Silva (CD of Spanish Ad Agency Shackleton), Juan Pablo Enís and Javier Gesto (founders of Struendo Filmmakers), had to prepare for a round table about digital technologies in filmmaking. The presentation was quite interesting, with very heated discussions about the real value of digital technologies in filmmaking (the traditional cinema purists just wouldn’t give up, and for a moment I thought it would turn into a real fight).

After the round table and a superb “Michelin Star” lunch provided by the Festival at the local Cassino, it was time to check out the much awaited 2nd Motion Graphics Review. The session kicked off with a wicked intro done by Sixis, followed by 60 minutes of breathtaking, kick ass mograph, produced by studios from all over the world like Superfad, XYZ, Petpunk, Joyrider Films, Dvein, Wizz and Qube Konstruct, to name a few. This year’s selection was truly amazing and inspiring. Watching them on a huge 11m X 6m size Cinema Screen got me wishing for more, and kept me dreaming about motion graphics for the next 3 days.

When the screening ended, Raúl gave me a copy of the winners DVD (watch it here) as a little gift to remember the trip.

This year’s winners (which have all been featured here before) were:

– Best Ad in Motion: Dvein / Diesel Liquid Space Show

– Best Music in Motion: Joyrider Films / Fujiya Miyagi

– Best Titles in Motion: JL Design / Pega Website Intro Light

– Best Personal in Motion: Wizz / Air – Electronic Performers

Inspired out of my mind and with a few stories to tell, it was time to head back to Barcelona to (fingers crossed) catch Radiohead’s concert. After changing the battery and (luckily) filling up the tank at a open gas station, we rushed back to Catalonia’s capital, avoiding speed radars, police road blocks and crazy tractor drivers, 60 seconds style. Hopefully Raúl “Alonso” Casañas pulled it off and dropped me off at the concert at 9:27 pm, exactly 3 minutes before Radiohead went on stage to play one of their best concerts to date!

What’s next?

I asked Raúl what should we expect for next year’s edition and here is what he had to say:

“We plan to relocate MGR to Barcelona in 2009. Barcelona is the “soul” of design and creation in Spain and it makes sense to have the festival based in such a lively city. We also want to spread the event worldwide and make it grow by collaborating with more people. The goal is to gather the core of audiovisual worldwide creators to produce ideas, concepts and strategies that could be shared with the public attending the event.”

So keep an eye out for next year’s edition, looks like it’s going to be pretty exciting!

Download the festival PDF

Watch the 2008 Intro

Watch the 2008 Winners

Big thanks to Raúl and Sergi!