Volume 8

May 26, 2017

TCM Classic Film Festival

Brand Image Campaign

The TCM Classic Film Festival showcases films that have been revered over decades. For this year’s festival, we were asked to join the celebration by putting together a graphics package for the three day event in Hollywood.

Original Design Concepts by Doug Chang

Using the Grauman’s Chinese Theater as our primary key art, we pulled colors, textures, and the medallion to build our aesthetic.

Animation by Brian Landisman

We then combined the Grauman elements with iconic imagery from features such as The Jerk, the Graduate, The Palm Beach Story, and Born Yesterday to highlight familiar moments and sketch in scenes.

Styleframes by Erika Lee // Sketches by Ivan Viaranchyk

Inspired by the physical filmmaking process, we made an optical graphic stage which moves like the inner workings of a classic filmmaking tool — a Moviola or a Bolex H8.

Animation by Liu ChiaLung

Shifting, shutting, finding focus, and changing lenses are some of the mechanics that we graphically re-imagined to transition us from moment to moment. The animations act as the beating heart of analogue filmmaking — imperfect, rhythmic and sometimes, skipping a beat.

As we transition from scene to scene, we include hand-illustrated elements, creating a stronger connection to the filmmaking process and giving the designs a deeper analogue appeal. The elements we used consist of: generic storyboards, set design and wardrobe sketches, director’s notes, and camera schematics.

Sketches by Ivan Viaranchyk

Ultimately, all of our elements came together to create a package as spirited and timeless as the films themselves.

Thanks again to the folks at TCM for letting us take part and inviting us out to the festival.


May 26, 2017

The One Show 2017

Graphic Branding

For the sixth year in a row, we were given the opportunity to develop graphics for The One Show, and each time, we’ve continued to up the ante.

Design & Animation by Alec Iselin

Last year, we conceptualized, designed and animated the acrobatic gold pencil. The black and gold added a layer of elegance, while the animation upheld the creative spirit and themes of the show itself.

Design & Animation by Alec Iselin

This year we took everything a step further, pushing boundaries and exploring new, more advanced methods of Octane rendering to give the animations a sleek, modern appeal.

Designs by Alec Iselin // Octane Rendering by Kevin Sanchez

We also introduced another slice of architecture — the split-screen. By implementing this visual, we were able to reveal the pencils from different viewpoints simultaneously. Altogether, it allowed us to expand the personality and the environment where each pencil could move and take shape.

Design by Alec Iselin // Animation by Liu ChiaLung

Congrats to all the 2017 pencil winners, and here’s to another year with the folks at The One Club. We can’t wait to see what comes next.


May 26, 2017

Superheroes: Decoded

Open and Show Package

Warrior Poets came to us looking for an open and show package for History Channel’s two-part series, Superheroes: Decoded. The show takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books — exploring countless moments in time when heroes have been born, propagandized, and transformed.

We began by evaluating the Grecian-God-like persona inherent in the figures and liked how sculptures have elevated and glorified icons throughout history. Our 3D artists tackled this approach and our creativity took flight.

Original Design & Stone Sculptures by Doug Chang

As we dove deeper into the process, however, we understood that our best materials were from the comic books themselves. These tangible, relatable and imaginative collections told the human side of our heroes’ stories.

3D Animation by Liu Chialung

Lucky for us, the Warrior Poets had a stash of classic comic book archives, and we were able to bring our ideas to life. We began to develop a universal animation language that would unite all of the comics. We adopted the 2.5D technique and rendered the flat book covers into a dimensional space.

Animations by Brian Landisman

We wanted to keep that sense of god-like scale in play, so we questioned what truly made a hero recognizable and, most importantly, iconic. We thought of the Batman symbol projected in the night sky, the “S” transforming Clark Kent, and the “X” uniting a team of Mutants. By creating these emblems in 3D and comping pieces of the comics themselves onto their surface, we could reveal the symbols in a cinematic, epic way.

3D Superman symbol by Doug Chang // 3D Animation by Kevin Sanchez

Complete with lower thirds, chapter headings & transitions, our graphics package helped unfold and reveal each of these stories on a grand, sweeping scale.

Thanks again to our friends at Warrior Poets for the always creative and collaborative process.


May 26, 2017

Artist Spotlight: Ross Henderson

A welcome to Ross Henderson, our new Design Director.

We’re happy to announce our newest team-member, Design Director, Ross Henderson. An award-winning creative director from the UK, Ross has worked on campaigns for Al-Jazeera and many other acclaimed agencies.

Ross brings energy and curiosity to each project. He applies his deep understanding of the world and current affairs to multiple projects at once, which is what we do in our studio daily. His new role with us is key in emphasizing what sets our work apart. Having worked across the globe, in the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S., his artistic leadership is measured and insightful.

We’re excited to have his fresh and refined perspective on our projects, and look forward to his collaboration with the BigStar team.

Design for America Tonight by Ross Henderson

Q&A with Ross Henderson:

What brought you to BigStar?

It was an easy decision to join the Big Star team. It represents a chance for me to work with like minded people who clearly enjoy their craft and have the same goals as me….to produce design work that tells important stories, challenges perceptions and entertains. It is also a exciting challenge for me to work in a different environment than I’ve been used to.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer/director?

It’s hard to pick a moment. I’ve been drawing, painting and designing in some form as far back as I can remember. It is always what I enjoyed most and I’ve never considered a profession outside of this area.

What makes you love what you do, if you love it?

I love the discovery stage and creative conversation at the start of any project. We are very lucky in the design profession that we get exposure to new ideas and untold stories from a huge variety of people. We get to add creative ideas and to be part of the story telling process which is very rewarding.

Design for America Votes by Ross Henderson

What is your ultimate goal, as a designer/director?

All I can hope for is to keep working on projects that I find fulfilling and enjoyable and to keep meeting people that I can learn from.

What were you working on before BigStar/NYC?

My last big project was a re-brand of an Arabic language news channel based in the Middle East. Designing in Arabic was at first a daunting but ultimately rewarding experience. It challenges how you think about design layout and really brings the core design principles into focus.

We are very lucky in the design profession that we get exposure to new ideas and untold stories from a huge variety of people.

Arabic Promo Design by Ross Henderson

What/who has influenced you the most?

I’m always reluctant to name individuals and design genres. I’m inspired when I see a body of work or an individual piece where the passion and commitment of the creator to their craft is clearly evident. I find that photographic works often make me feel this way especially when the artist has a story to tell that they are clearly passionate about.

What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

I’ve spent the majority of my professional life working in current affairs and documentaries. This has given me a valuable opportunity to hear people’s stories and to learn about issues, people, places and events. I’m excited to illustrate or describe what I’ve learned through design so that the viewer can get a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Design for Global View by Ross Henderson

Do you have any side-projects you continue to work on?

I stay away from my computer after regular hours. I love photography and I’m learning how to make a chair!

Design for Consider This by Ross Henderson

How do you want to be remembered?

Hard to say. In a design/professional sense, I hope I’m remembered as someone who helped foster a fun, creative environment where people could feel free to express ideas and push themselves.

How do you determine the success of a piece?

Our area of design is about helping tell stories, creating atmosphere and evoking reactions. If a design piece can change perceptions or help tell a story in a new and interesting way that leaves a lasting impression then I think it can be deemed a success.

Redbeard Design by Ross Henderson

Volume 7

Next Project: Volume 7
Telling the Bigger Story