Friday, August 29, 2014

Making a Parody: Need A Title Sequence

There are many factors that go into making a good parody, and one of the most overlooked aspects is the title sequence. Now, it might not seem that important but a good title sequence can make or break any production.

Take a look at the famous youtube channel, the Hillywood Show:

For quick introductions: the Hillywood show is a channel on youtube co-created by sisters Hannah and Hilly Hindi. They produce parodies of widely popular shows and movies, to the beat of re-mixed songs, dancing, singing, and acting as the original characters. Amazingly enough, they do it without a huge production crew and they've attracted the attention of many celebrities (like Lady Gaga and Psy). 

And the parody aside (how fantastic it may be), we need to give some props to the people who created that opening sequence. For any non-Whovians, Doctor Who is a British sci-fi series produced by the BBC that follows the Doctor as he travels across time and space with his many companions. It's one of the longest-running shows, dating back to 1963, but it's become a cult classic in recent years. 

Even if you only head of this show in passing, you've probably heard of the most iconic thing to this show: the Tardis. It's essentially the Doctor's "space ship" that he uses to propel himself where he needs to go (or where he happens to end up). Without getting too much into the logistics of the show, the important thing to take away is that the Tardis is iconic in more ways than one. 

And you can't have a cult classic without an anthem, but this one is slightly more unique.:

As you can see, it has no lyrics but that doesn't take away from the feel of the show at all. If anything, it sets up an almost invigoration vibe. It's as if we too have joined the Doctor on his quest through time and space. And the animation of this sequence is legendary. Although it has changed throughout the years, the concept remains. Swirling stars and galaxies whiz by, as the Tardis comes spinning too and fro. It's a journey and it's one that should be appreciated.

And getting back to the Hillywood show, they have people and users like Tom Dicker and Thomasjt017 to recreate their titles just like the original. It may not seem like much, but it really sets up the parody to be something great because it's familiar. For all those fans who passionately sing along to the BBC's version, they have something to look forward to in the Hillywood's one. As "the Hillywood Show" dances in-line where "Matt Smith's" name would be, viewers from both communities find something of equal purchase.

And that's why opening sequences matter. Because animation means something. It's iconic in the most subtle of way, especially in live-action shows. It sets up the atmosphere and it pulls us along for the journey. Some may say it even grabs our hands and tells us to "run."

The Motion Graphics & Animation Before Christmas

Hi everyone! For my first post I decided I'd start out with a classic. I've always loved Tim Burton and the weird/creepy stuff that comes from him. The Nightmare Before Christmas was one of my favorite movies as a kid, especially because I love Halloween!

The animation in this film is fantastic. It really makes you feel as though this place, Halloweentown, is a real world. The lighting is great, especially in the scene with the moon in the background. The textures of the ground and the stitches on Sally's face are so carefully detailed!

Not to brag or anything, but I did carve a sweet pumpkin 3 years ago that sums up my appreciation for this movie.


For my first blog post of the semester, I wanted to talk a little about the intro to the Showtime show, Weeds. Weeds was created by Jenji Kohan and it has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I started watching it. I wanted to talk about this intro for my first post because this intro is the reason why I started watching the show. Instead of talking about the intro, I'll let you see it for yourself:

For those of you not familiar with the show, it is about a white, middle/upper-class, family from the suburbs of California that has been thrown a curveball when the father dies unexpectedly. To deal with this hardship, Nancy (the main character and mother of two) turns to selling weed to her community in order to keep her "white picket fence" image.

Why I like this intro in particular is the fact that it depicts the nature of suburbia perfectly. And, the use of animation only amplifies the feelings of rapid growth and homogeneity of the suburban life.

The show also throws in some fun animations in the intro that are specific to the feelings of the episode or what is going down in the episode to follow. The use of animation in for these hints at the episode make watching the show intro fun because they change by episode. All in all, I think this intro and the animation used in it creatively set the scene for the television program and it really makes the show special.

The Real Housewives of Motion Graphics and Animation!

Hi there!

I am Alex Cammy- a 20 year pop culture junkie from NJ. I am entering my junior year at Ithaca College, where I study Television and Radio. This past summer I was lucky enough to intern at MTV (Within the Research and Insights departments) for the Times Square location. I have a slight obsession with Oprah (I commissioned a 65 year old woman on Etsy, to create an Oprah pillow!) and a slightly larger obsession with the Real Housewives (I have seen, every episode, of every season, of every city!). I love pop culture and it's inherent nature to infect itself within society and influence it's people in a way that can be done by no other entity. I pride myself on not only being able to sassily trash and poke fun at pop culture, but also my ability to understand and analyze it. As you see my blogs this upcoming semester you’ll definitely notice a heavy influence of pop culture. I’m excited to explore how my personal interests fit within the realms of Motion Graphics & Animation!

To get the ball rolling, I’m sharing the opening sequences from a few of "The Real Housewives" locations. Every season these sequences change, along with the ladies and their taglines. While many may look down on "The Real Housewives" and that form of television, these sequences are incredibly well produced. Each location of the franchise features a unique sequence that is truly representative of the location. For “Orange County” you’ll see beaches, and sunny locales coupled with bright orange colors. In “Miami’s’” open you’ll notice a faster, spicier pace edited and put together with the flair of the Miami Latina culture. And in “New York City”you'll find heavily produced skylines, along with darker colors that produce an air of sophistication and class that the New York City lifestyle is associated with it. While each city's opening sequence is representative of the lifestyle and themes that specific series represents, all the title sequences feel united and part of a franchise. I applaud the editors and their ability to make each opening unique, yet cohesive.

Feel free to take a look at the open sequences below. No matter how you may feel about the programs themselves, we must at least appreciate how well done their openings are!

Until next time!

Alex Cammy


Writing on the Wall: Music Video

So my first Motion Graphics blog post goes out to this amazing music video by the band "Ok Go" The song is titled "Writing on the Wall."

This music video does an absolutely amazing job of organically using camera angles, and video illusions with literal in motion graphics to bend the mind. The ending does an amazing job of showing just how difficult of a production it was, and how many people were involved.

The ending also alludes to the fact that this entire video was created in one take which just adds to the insanity that is this music video. This is probably about as close to a Rube Goldberg music video as you'll ever see.

This video just shows that perspective can be everything and that some of the preproduction and setup would be insane. I can't even imagine what the storyboarding for this music video would look like, because my brain is still fried from just trying to keep up with the actually video.

Definitely worth a watch for sure!

- Kenny Chapman

Motion Graphics and Animation take 2

Second time around attempting this class for me, this time I'm going to try and retain use of my arms. I really want to get good at little stupid things, like doing YTPs (which might get their own post later) or a cool opening sequence for my DnD group.

The class blog is a great way to show the class stuff you're working on or stuff you think is neat. Sometimes Arturo looks it over in class MAKING people see what you posted! Cool, huh?

Some of my posts from last semester are here, check 'em out if you want to experience some stuff like Hasbro's gross attempts at theatrical releases , new 3D animation technologies , or cool use of textures on 3D characters 

It can be hard to get noticed, but Arturo's blog can totally make you go from this:

To having your thing be awesome and standing on its own:

Will there be awesome stuff from everyone this semester?

You bet.

Keep an eye out for it.