September 12, 2023
With animation of all kinds becoming ever-more omnipresent on Social Media, we think it’s very important that our design team are exposed to the practitioners who are at the bleeding edge of the industry. It was in that spirit the we sent them off to Inmotion 2023, a conference for the leading luminaries in the animation space. It is put on by a group called “We are Playgrounds” as a bi-annual check-up for the creative industries, and it was their inaugural London event!
In their own words,
“Since 2006 we have organized several Playgrounds festivals and conferences. What was first a yearly event turned in 2017 into a bi-annual momentum where the international creative industry comes together. Where you get inspired by artist talks, workshops, films and masterclasses. Where you meet your biggest heroes and witness mesmerizing performances”
So who were the speakers? Although there were a plethora of options, our intrepid Design team saw talks throughout the day. They saw the following artists:
Patrick O’Keefe was the art director / production designer for Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse – this year’s genre – defying superhero animated film, packed with innovative art styles. After a brief summary of his work and career to date, Patrick offered us a behind the scenes look into the animation processes and story-telling techniques that went into the making of the film.
The main thing that impressed our design was his commitment to authenticity. To capturing the authentic experience of reading an old comic and trying to recreate that experience on screen. He went on to describe how each of the film’s six main locales each required this level of commitment to capture a different art style, accomplished oftentimes by stripping everything back to pre-digital tools.
The Lesson learnt from this talk was that authenticity is key and if you want to evoke an distinct look or feel, you have to commit to it 100 percent, otherwise it will just come out feeling disingenuous and fake.
Animate are a creative studio based in London that have been going for 12 years, in that time they’ve worked with some massive clients, including Lego and Wetransfer. The key factor that runs through all their work, they said was character, and a love of storytelling, which is something that chimes with our sensibilities here at IF.
Storytelling is so important to the success of our work, be it a 5 second Instagram story, or a lengthy panel discussion, we are always looking for ways to tell a story. Animande and Anna Ginsburg both highlighted to our creative team the importance of creating your own personal / in-house projects and how these are your opportunity to experiment and mess around and will often lead on to client work.
Anna Ginsburg uses her animation to talk about things that matter to her the most, such as society’s ever changing body image standards, or an artistic response to the refugee crisis. A lot of her recent work stems from collaboration and community – building. That is a great lesson for our creative team’s work, you can’t make amazing work on your own, don’t shut yourself off from working with other members within your own team or discount the contributions of outside collaborators.
In conclusion, if you didn’t get a sense already from the above, our design team had a wonderful time at Inmotion 2023 and can’t wait for next year’s event. If you’ve never heard of any of the afore-mentioned folks, or are a dab-hand at animation, I hope this blog post has whetted your appetite for more animated goodness. If your fingers are itching to pick up a pencil, I’d recommend taking a look at Animade’s new app – Animade frames – which simplifies the process of making an 8-frame animated loop (we tried it at the event it was very cool.)
If you’d like to discuss all things to do with animation on social then you can find IF’s contact information here