Volume 22

February 15, 2019

Tidying Up

Show Package

Mid-2018, we were approached by the Jackal Group with Netflix’s brand new show--Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Kondo’s tidying philosophy had become an international sensation and her bright personality and life approach captured our interest immediately. It was time to spark joy!

In our initial round, we hit the deck with her branding style guide in mind. We drew inspiration from her recognized color palette such as Jade and Cinnabar, sans serif fonts and the structural integrity of origami, compartmentalization, and categorical organization.

Original Design Concepts by Rachael Park, Ann Kruetzkamp, and Josh Norton

After designing four concepts, our duo-tone block type idea for the open & show package emerged from the stack and it was time to express our gratitude to the others.

Card design by Ross Henderson / Animation by Brian Landisman

Next, we honed in the colors and animation for our five-second open and ultimately delivered a neat package of simple categorical transitions, hand-drawn illustrated animations, custom title cards, lower thirds and location IDs, and custom toolkits.

Instructional Videos - by Jane Wu and Carol Cai

It was an excellent collaboration with The Jackal Group & Netflix and we congratulate them and Kondo herself for all the success of the show!


February 15, 2019

Vikings

Promo Package & Trailer

For Vikings return on History Channel, we were given the opportunity to develop a high octane trailer that would make its big reveal at the 2018 Comic Con.

Initial Boards & "H" Renders

Using an x-particle system that was rendered seamlessly in both Octane and Redshift, we developed and manipulated ashes that are blown away to reveal key symbols and clues.

From the start, we wanted to create a dark, mysterious and revealing world that would bring us right to the heart of character development and tease possible themes in the season to come. Using an x-particle system that was rendered seamlessly in both Octane and Redshift, we developed and manipulated ashes that are blown away to reveal key symbols and clues.

Once we delivered the trailer, History wanted to take the look and environment we created and expand it into a full season 5 promo package. After the very well-received package was delivered, we were tasked with creating a full CG tease based on the post-war ashen world.

Storyboards by Ivan Viaranchyk

For the tease, unlike the promo package, we reversed the effect of the ashes revealing information, and instead used the effect to cover iconic items such as battle axes, shields, and Ivars banner, which ultimately rises from the suffocating ash in triumph.

Storyboards by Ivan Viaranchyk

We wanted to create a dark, mysterious and revealing world that would bring us right to the heart of character development and tease possible themes in the season to come.

We then translated this particle system into an internal user-friendly toolkit for the folks at History. Thanks again to their team for all their collaboration and creative. We look forward to more to come!


February 15, 2019

Documentary Now!

Trailer & Promo Package

In celebration of the 52nd season of Documentary Now! we collaborated with the creative team at IFC to produce a look for their latest season premiere promo package and trailer.

We had a strong creative brief that suggested the use of bright colors and simple shapes derived from retro film festival posters to tell our story. As the team at IFC continued to explore key art, they provided huge inspiration to us as we began the process.

We took their initial look and gathered more design inspiration from big bold type, sequential colors, portrait treatments and shapes. After sharing and discussing our inspiration deck, the creative stars aligned and we designed five distinctive looks: graphic geometry, retro personality, false dimension, stacked type, and clean expressive type.

Original Boards - Graphic Geometry, Retro Personality, False Dimension

We chose Helvetica because we like it. - Ross Henderson, Design Director

Original Boards - Stacked Type, Clean Expressive Type

The latter 2 concepts were championed and after one more round of polished design, we went right into motion.

The animation style plays like a stop motion piece... Any given frame can look detached but when played back, they create symmetry as a whole. - Chris Scales, Animator

The simplicity of our hero font, Helvetica, married with bold bright shapes informed us of the approach we wanted to take in motion. It needed to be clean, a little uncomfortable, and have as much personality as the characters themselves. The use of film strips, large letterforms and stacked type all worked together with alternating textures and snappy color shifts to achieve this behavior.

Being on the same page creatively throughout the process was a blast and we loved raising the bar with IFC and Fortress of Evil on such a fun, impressive project.


February 15, 2019

Artist Spotlight: Chris Scales

Animator

Chris has been one of our go-to 2D animators for the past two years. He approaches each project with an organized anticipation to turn around deliverables quickly, on a high-end scale. His ability to work on multiple projects at once while technically mastering a production approach for each, lends to more robust creative leadership and holistic approach to every story he helps tell.

We are very excited to feature Chris and share his inspirations & insights. Read the full Q&A below!

RFK: The Kennedy Family Remembers - Animation by Chris Scales

Q&A with Chris Scales -

When did you first realize you wanted to be a motion graphics artist?
I was a huge cartoon junkie growing up. I was infatuated with everything from the golden era to the hits of the 80's and 90's. I spent countless hours in front of a light box, tracing images and discovering what made my favorite characters tick.

I always wanted to become an animator. It wasn't until college that I started focusing less on conventional storytelling and more on creating a visual sensation. Most of my films were more conceptual, marrying abstractions in motion with music.

What is your process when approaching a new project?
It's good practice to do some internal investigation to figure out what a project’s true objective is. Getting organized and having all the tools and parameters at your disposal allows the creativity to flow more seamlessly. In summary, utilize the left brain to start and ride the right to the finish line.

Documentary Now! Trailer - Animation by Chris Scales

What makes you love what you do?
I find the creative process to be most fulfilling. Sharing a final product to the world is exciting, but I'm at my best when I'm actively making stuff.

What do you feel is the most important quality in a designer/animator?
Our industry is pretty special because of the talent it attracts. When you combine a group of creatives in one environment, there's an energy that pushes everyone's work to the next level. I think a person with collaborative spirit will always trump someone with raw talent.

Getting organized and having all the tools and parameters at your disposal allows the creativity to flow more seamlessly.

American Music Awards Launch Spot - Comping by Chris Scales

What perspective do you bring to the industry / what makes you different?
I have a keen eye for motion. I'm obsessed with velocity rates and ramping. I love playing with timing and I'm really good at locking down a look for any particular style.

What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
To keep making things. My focus and interests have evolved over time but the one constant has been creative fulfillment.

Watergate - Chart Animations by Chris Scales

How long have you been animating?
I have been working as a professional for over 10 years. I started out compositing & animating for children's programming, moved to commercial advertising, did a stint with late night tv, jumped into sports recruiting and even tackled some social media marketing along the way. Documentary is a new genre I can add to that list thanks to my time at Big Star.

Are there any inspirations that you pull from on a regular basis?
You don't have to try very hard to find inspiration in NYC. It's everywhere. Working with a talented group of artists doesn't hurt either. When in doubt, an Andrew Kramer tutorial can usually get the job done.

Miles Davis - Gil Evans Scene - Animation by Chris Scales

Do you have any side-projects you continue to work on?
I have a number of friends that work in the film industry that I enjoy collaborating with on occasion. I also try to flex my creative muscles in other ways. In my free time, I make abstract paintings and brew beer.

How do you determine the success of a piece?
There are bench marks along the production of a piece that will evoke a feeling of success in an artist. I don't believe in just one big win but achieving a visual and conceptual connection in the final product is meaningful.


Volume 21

Next Project: Volume 21
Telling the Bigger Story