Volume 12

December 19, 2017

Meet the Press Film Festival 2017

Festival Branding & Event Graphics

Meet the Press teamed up with the American Film Institute this year for their first ever MTP Film Festival in Washington DC. Our friends over at MSNBC came to us looking for a graphic language that would bring life to the topics each documentary was tackling.

MTP Taxi animation by Casey Drogin

We began by looking at logo layouts for the MTP / AFI collaboration, and finally landed on one we felt both modernized and simplified the two logos when brought into the same space.

MTP / AFI Logo Design Exploration by Doug Chang and Ross Henderson

At the same time, we searched to define our style and sent references along to collaborate and define our graphic approach.

Design References

Once we came up with a style, we went after design — each frame graphically expressing important issues including healthcare, race, inequality, pride, and mass incarceration.

We built frames that could be easily translated into motion so that the animation felt seamless. By combining smooth animation with the stop-motion analog technique the end result rendered dynamic, life-like and relatable scenes that didn’t distract from, but rather, enhanced the stories we wanted to tell.

Each frame graphically expresses important issues including healthcare, race, inequality, pride, and mass incarceration.

The film leader ran at the beginning of this year’s festival, accompanied by posters that populated the event. We also delivered a promo that ran in taxi’s across D.C.

Logo animation by Casey Drogin

Thanks again to MSNBC for the great collaboration & opportunity, we look forward to next year.


December 19, 2017

History Channel

Image Campaign: Round II

Earlier this year, we transformed the History Channel H into 5 unique muscle cars for their first ever Car Week . Shortly thereafter, History came back to us looking for more. This time, History wanted to transform their “H” into genre-specific category openers for shows like Vikings, Knightfall and more.

Style, Environment and Object References

While not quite starting from square one, we still needed to find the perfect hero objects to bring us out of the “H” logo and into each world. We researched and pulled references of vehicles, environments & scenarios that could bring a real-life quality and context to each genre.

We researched and pulled references of vehicles, environments & scenarios that could bring a real-life quality and context to each genre.

Knightfall Helmet render by Alec Iselin

When conceptualizing the Knightfall animation, we wanted to build a coat of armor over the “H”, versus having the final result animate from beneath the gold. Once the “H” is prepped for battle, this outer coat then comes together to form the final piece of armor — the iconic Knights Templar Helmet.

Knightfall “H” transformation by Alec Iselin
Knightfall ID by Alec Iselin

Military “H” animation and composition by Kevin Sanchez. Environment by Ned Piyadarakorn.

For military, we wanted to create a M1 Abrams tank that would land with a bang. In order to give the tank the right “wear and tear” we researched and combined metal textures to create the exterior of the tank, making it feel rough and ready for combat.

ID Designed and Animated by Kevin Sanchez

Viking ID designed and Animated by Ned Piyadarakorn & Liu Chialung

For a show like Vikings, there was really no other answer outside of transforming the “H” into a viking ship. The ship, of course, also had to live on water.

We grabbed one of our best CG artists and he began to build the ocean from scratch using a C4D simulation plugin. The movement, quality and force of the ocean had to feel powerful, just as our Viking ship itself. Created entirely in C4D and Octane, we gave the stormy seas a matching sky, and rendered the wood panels, water, sails and ropes to create the most dynamic action.

Water rendered by Ned Piyadarakorn. Vikings H transformation by Liu Chialung
ID created by Ned Piyadarakorn & Liu Chialung

In the end, our partners at History allowed us to think big and our artists delivered some of our favorite IDs to date. Thanks again to History for continuing the journey, and keep an eye out for more customized spots airing soon!


December 19, 2017

BGSTR’s Exec. Producer

Carson Hood

Carson Hood has been an Executive Producer at BigStar for almost four years. His ability to make connections and bring in clients from all sides of the industry keeps us on our toes and our work diverse.

We look to Carson for creative input and client perspective on nearly all of our projects, while he also handles budgets and project scope from beginning to end. Without a doubt, his personality and attention to detail make him one of the most important members of our process and how we operate as a whole.

Q&A with Carson Hood —

When did you first realize you wanted to be in the industry/work as an executive producer? 
I had a strong interest in the entertainment industry from an early age. Even as far back as elementary school I can’t really recall ever wanting to do anything else. Well, besides be a professional athlete, maybe. Then in college, I had the opportunity to intern at MTV and that really helped me get a solid look at a career path and begin to recognize where my skill-set would be best utilized.

What makes you love what you do? 
The people. No question. I am often impressed by the talented, smart, and creative people I get to interact with on a daily basis.

What perspective do you bring to the graphics world as a producer and what sets you apart?
I have good intuition and it helps me to recognize the needs of a client or project.

Special Feature: Carson’s handwriting in Ride with Norman Reedus

There’s a lot of satisfaction in finding a new client, showing them that you understand their needs, and providing them with the resources to be successful.

How long have you been doing what you do?
Almost 13 years now. Wow, that’s a reality check.

What/who has influenced you the most?
I’m probably most influenced by my friends in and out of the industry. Connor Swegle, Dave Weiner and Rich Rama come to mind. Dave and Connor founded Priority Bicycles. Watching them work hard to run and grow their business over the years has influenced and pushed me. Rich has more follow-through than any other person I know. He has an idea and he makes it happen. I love that and it certainly influences me.

What are you most passionate about professionally?
Business development. I truly love working to grow a business through sales and marketing. Sales has a competitive aspect to it that is incredibly addictive. There’s also a lot of satisfaction in finding a new client, showing them that you understand their needs, and providing them with the resources to be successful. This newsletter serves as a good example of marketing that I’m proud of and passionate about. It’s a great representation of BigStar and who we are. It also provides a great way for our clients to not only keep up with what we’re working on but also see our process.

Some of our new & long lasting partnerships, developed in part by Carson Hood

What is your process for connecting with potential partners? What are some ways you keep in touch?
In general, I always try to connect with partners in a relevant manner. No one needs anymore pointless emails. I try to make sure that my outreach has a purpose and is useful or of interest to them in some way.

How do you determine the success of a relationship with a client?
If we’ve helped a client take their vision to another level, then we’ve been successful. The process should also be an enjoyable journey. Our clients should always feel taken care of and have a feeling of trust that allows them to be comfortable coming to us with whatever challenges they might be facing and know that we’re going to do anything in our power to help them navigate the project and ultimately be successful.

Carson’s dog Bo, circa 2015. Once a staple personality of the BGSTR office.

Volume 11

Next Project: Volume 11
Telling the Bigger Story