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film title sequence + motion graphics work_062117

memphis titles

it’s been a while since we updated this blog thing. it occurred to us that we really need to make a record of our gradual move into the world of film title sequences. unfortunately the way this website is constructed means that it’s hard to highlight this kind of work, and so we hope this article gives you an inkling of what we’ve done and hope yet to do in this field.

over the last few years we’ve been asked to do an increasing amount of motion graphics work for films, and whilst the work is often relatively rudimentary in terms of graphic design, the projects have certainly been respectable. in this regard it’s worth noting what kind of films we’ve worked on and observing the more subtle compliment a thing as simple as a typeface choice or type placement can offer a film. which isn’t to say we wouldn’t rather do something more explosive graphically, but more often than not a film doesn’t need that. not at all.

anyway, after a while in this business you realize that you need to just let the work speak for itself, rather than doing a whole lot of talking about your process or whatever. so here are a series of title cards and stills from various film productions, where you can see our motion graphic design work at play.

 

light up the night
co-directed by matt sundin and caspar newbolt. featuring drawings by john delucca and animation by josiah newbolt.

light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles
light up the night titles

 

entertainment
directed by rick alverson.

entertainment titles
entertainment titles
entertainment titles
entertainment titles
entertainment titles
entertainment titles
entertainment titles

 

dark night
directed by tim sutton. featuring in-film poster design and ‘google maps sequence’ compositing.

dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles
dark night titles

 

take what you can carry
directed by matthew porterfield.

take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles
take what you can carry titles

 

live cargo
directed by logan sandler.

live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles
live cargo titles

 

memphis
directed by tim sutton.

memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles
memphis titles

 

the convention
directed by jessica dimmock.

the convention titles
the convention titles
the convention titles
the convention titles
the convention titles

 

pavilion
directed by tim sutton.

pavilion titles
pavilion titles
pavilion titles
pavilion titles

 

muito romântico
directed by distruktur.

 

stay tuned for more work from us for jonas carpignano’s a ciambra, matthew porterfield’s sollers point and ari gold’s the song of sway lake.

cheers.

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memphis amongst best film posters of 2014_121614

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MUBI and slate have put together a list of their best film posters of 2014. we’re honoured to say that our poster for memphis came in 7th place, and must again thank adrian curry who put the list together for the recognition. it goes without saying that such an accolade would have been impossible without the belief and support of?tim sutton and the rest of the film’s crew. it’s not often that a relationship?of this kind allows such a level of artistic?freedom, and furthermore that this is one particular collaboration that’s only just getting started.

cheers,

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memphis awarded movie poster of the day_082914

memphis_poster_layered_v2_resized

our poster for tim sutton’s memphis was kindly selected as movie poster of the day by adrian curry on his blog of the same name. adrian writes for film comment, MUBI?and is the design director for zeitgeist films. we’re thrilled to have made the cut ? thank you, adrian.

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film posters (part 3)_060414

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here’s another selection of film poster work from us. once again, some of these pieces were used whilst?others ended up hitting the cutting room floor.?either way they all offer an insight into our working process with our collaborators,?and consequently the?overall climate of film poster design today.

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memphis_poster_3c
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memphis_poster_7
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once again a huge thank you to all the filmmakers who’ve given us the chance to work on their films. the process is always as thrilling as it is educational.

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call girl_031114

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in the last days of 2013 whilst on a longish trip back to england, i sat down with my brother to watch a film called call girl. we didn’t know anything about it – in fact i’d picked it up because i liked the typography used for the film’s logo. it was close to midnight, we filled our whiskey glasses and slung the disc into the playstation. i said one word during the entire viewing. in fact i said that one word twice. the word was ‘fuck.’

call girl came out in 2012. it’s basically unheard of here in the US, and even harder to get a physical copy of. heck it was tough enough to find a pressing of the soundtrack that anyone would ship to england, let alone new york. whether this is to do with the controversy that surrounds the film, or simply because for some reason it failed to pickup a good distribution deal, is unclear.

call girl documents a political catastrophe in the 1970s that is still such a sore matter for those involved in sweden, that the film had to be heavily edited after it’s festival screenings in order for it to make the public domain. without going into the story, i’ll add that it’s one of the most beautifully written, shot, edited, scored, acted and packaged films i’ve seen in a long time. after watching it i immediately picked up a copy for a friend in england, and have since screened my copy for as many friends as i can in new york.

soon after returning from england i began to steal an hour here or there amongst my regular projects, to piece together notes, take screen snapshots and cut together various layouts. a day or so ago a much larger film related project landed – one that would truly require every second i had left in each day – and i had to save the files, export them and put this particular aside to rest.

there’s no real need to go into why the posters turned out the way they did, but they certainly follow my long-running ethos that the artwork supporting a film or record should in every capacity echo the tone, message and overall aesthetic value of that work. i hope you enjoy each of the 10 editions i’ve put together in different ways, and ultimately take the time to see the film (and buy the soundtrack) as soon as you can.

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my gratitude to daniel carlsten who’s typographic work on the film drew me to it. my congratulations to ?for such masterful directing, to hoyte van hoytema (let the right one in) for a level of cinematography the likes of which i wish every film could be blessed with, and lastly to mattias b?rjed for an incendiary soundtrack. one i am?still trying to get on vinyl.

for more information about the film click here.

cheers,

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memphis_011414

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 11.51.03 AM

tim sutton’s new feature film MEMPHIS is having it’s US premiere at the sundance film festival this week. the film stars the incendiary singer willis earl beal and chases, in the form of a filmic essay, the ever-fleeting soul of the creative process. as some of you know we have had the great honour of working on this film and you can read more about that in an interview we did with black book magazine here.

since putting together the posters for the film, we’ve created a small teaser site to celebrate the sundance acceptance. additionally the film has since been written up in dazed & confused magazine. to say that it’s a thrill to see the film (not to mention one of our photographs) in that legendary periodical would be an understatement.

here’s wishing the whole memphis film team all the success at sundance and beyond. it’s not often enough that films as experimental and searching as this get this sort of recognition.

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thanks to indiewire you can view a brand new trailer for the film below. do please immerse yourself for a moment. to paraphrase one of my favourite songs – nothing quite like the feel of something new.


lastly, if you have the means – see willis earl beal perform live. he’s touring europe in february and i can honestly say that there are very few out there of his caliber. lyrically, musically and performance-wise, he will most assuredly smash you to pieces.

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the east_060113

the east poster 8

fans of hard working, thought provoking science fiction would do well to tune into the work of brit marling, zal batmanglij and mike cahill. collectively through their films sound of my voice and??another earth?they are pushing for a return to the lo-fi, conceptual science fiction that andrei tarkovsky and his ilk brought to our shores in the 1970s. these days watching a film that presents a challenging alternative and forward thinking perspective, in which most complex visual effect is a tattoo or another planet in the sky, you can’t help but smile. the world has fallen so hard to its knees at the shrine of multi-million dollar visual effects that we’ve had to pretend it’s the only entertaining solution we have left for fear of revealing our broken knee-caps. fortunately this new crop of angry young directors, including shane carruth, seem out to prove that we don’t need a great deal of money to take you on a hard and fast trip into the vortex of psychological imbalances our future clearly holds.

i was fortunate enough to catch an early screening of director zal batmanglij’s new film?the east in new york a couple of weeks ago. whilst zal has steered away from science-fiction for this outing, its anger for change is still achingly present and once again i raised my proverbial glass to the immense power of a relatively low-budget production and how loud it can scream when in the right hands.

of course i had an inkling that once i’d seen the film i’d end up in front of my computer carving out some visual bits and pieces just to help myself calm down. i’d come very close with?sound of my voice and another earth, and as some will have noted?could not be held back when it came to?beyond the black rainbow. so what you see here, both above and below, are a series of posters i made as the images, sounds and ideas that?the east presented to me lingered in my head.

the east poster 6
the east poster 3
the east poster 4
the east poster 7
the east poster 5
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not fade away (part 2)_012913

not fade away website

our website for david chase’s rock ‘n’ roll, coming-of-age feature?not fade away, is now live. as hinted at in our previous post?the site represents our first public foray into hollywood studio design work.?paramount pictures came to us upon the recommendation of jon reiss, and requested that we create an award-winning website for them for a forthcoming feature film. they then provided us with some examples of the kinds of websites they felt were truly successful on a number of levels – their choices were excellent and we were excited by their expectations. in fact it was in every way one of the more exciting moments in our now-10 year life as a company, as we’d dreamed about such an opportunity since the moment we saw hi-res! flaunting their talents in a similar fashion 10 years earlier.

as is our usual way, we conceived of three differing, strong and complex approaches that we felt would capture at the very least the tonal nature of the film, as best we could determine from their words about the film alone. they were excited by our suggestions and not long after this we were given a chance to see the film at press screening in new york.

of all our ideas, paramount wanted to move forward with our suggestion of a a series of location-aware, fully soundtracked, living photographs that would be tailored to each of the site’s sections. to achieve this we first pitched the relatively new technique of creating PNG animations as a more compatible and controllable form of GIF animation ? in essence, canvas-based video. it was a technique that we’d first noticed being used by jon skinner on the website for?sublime text, and later, the apple website, and one that we knew we could adapt in order to bring the site comfortably to the iphone and ipad.

on top of this, because we could not use music from the film, we had approval on the creation of supporting soundscapes, custom radio recordings and also a full musical score in support of each animation. our trick, of course, being that each soundscape would be different depending on where you were looking at the site within the USA, and the weather outside at that time. each radio news report would be native to your location, should you have been alive in the 60s, and all the songs you heard on the radio would be imitations tracks of bands?from the so-called british invasion of the US. in essence, we were striving to conjure up a disarmingly fragile series of moments in an otherwise rather raucous film, and these looping visual tangents would allow us to illustrate the various tonal elements of the film without having to seriously spoil any of it.

not fade away website, filmmaker page

after making notes during the screening of the scenes we felt would be most suited to this idea, we were sent a quicktime reel of the scenes to produce compositions from.

we then started in earnest to create the soundscapes, radio recordings and music. gavin singleton, who runs our studio in london, headed up the audio production. he created a series of soundscape beds for each scene, and also cut up and mixed the other elements together as they were passed over to him. zach barocas, who manages our studio here in new york and who’s had previous work as a voiceover artist, recorded hundreds of custom, historical radio news and weather reports. adam shaw and pete newton, two trusted commercial composers from england, set about recording a series of rock ‘n’ roll songs in differing styles. giles and i then set about vetting the various elements, offering feedback where possible, in order to harmonize the audio with the visuals we were developing.?it was perhaps the most exciting, unified team effort we’d invested our time in to date – a real showcase of all our various talents.

towards the end of production we found out it was in fact possible to use the music from the film, as long as we used only 30 second clips of it. this meant we had to replace our custom sound work with a player featuring short loops much like itunes does in its track previews.

the site is an unusual and beautiful site in many respects, and we are proud of it.?we hope you enjoy the experience we’ve created. if you’re interested in taking a look at the site with the original sound engine still present (including locale-based news reports, custom rock songs and louder soundscapes), you can do so by clicking here. we’re calling it our director’s cut. we’re thankful to have been commissioned to build such an engine even if it was never used, and one day hope to be able to re-develop it for another project in some capacity.

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film posters (part 2)_011613

future weather poster

following up on our previous film poster round-up, here are a selection of recent film posters we’ve produced for various filmmaker collaborators. it’s worth noting this time around that some of the editions you see here weren’t actually used to promote the respective films in the end. however in retrospect we felt they were worth seeing nevertheless – if anything they can now be seeing as ‘fan posters’ of a sort.

LUV poster
detroit unleaded poster
pavilion poster
brooklyn brothers beat the best poster

as ever we look forward to what’s next and further honing our skills in this really very new and exciting aspect of what we do. a huge shout out and thanks to the filmmakers who’ve granted us these opportunities thus far.

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what about dick, how’s your news, pauly shore + joe rogan_011113

what about dick

since our initial work in the burgeoning direct-to-fan film sales world, we’ve been asked to produced platforms for a variety of different outfits. sometimes they want the whole rig from us as what about dick? and how’s your news? did, and sometimes they simply want to license the technology and design the look and feel of the platform themselves, as both pauly shore and joe rogan have. either way we’re extremely thankful to be asked to help in these developments, and flattered to be able to sit down in the fine company of those great talents interested in taking this new direction.

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