One highlight of our West Coast creative experience has been getting to know the fine people at Motion Theory, the design and directorial studio headed by cuties Mathew Cullen and Javier Jimenez. An article by Diane Mehta in this month’s Fast Company positions the Venice firm as the leaders in this blurring whatchamacallit world of film-motion-graphics-art, and rightly so:
Cullen and executive producer Javier Jimenez cofounded Motion Theory in 2000. Now it’s leading a wave of New York- and L.A.-based companies that are reinventing the TV commercial, even the look of video itself, and changing the way advertisers and other clients connect with the public. Old tagline-driven spots are giving way to content that’s at once more visceral and cerebral. Upstart shops such as Brand New School, Psyop, and Logan, which specialize in animation and motion graphics, have embraced a trippy style that draws from cartoons, comic books, and video games–a 2-D aesthetic with occasional live-action footage. More established production companies such as RSA Films, Radical Media, and Anonymous Content make edgy live-action commercials with the same high production values as their film and TV work. But no one blends those worlds better than Motion Theory, with its radically strange hybrid of live action, visual effects, and 3-D animation.
Their projects are similarly eclectic–our personal favorite is the witty wordplay fold-in fun of Beck‘s video for “Girl”–but the article hints that something much, much more might be in store for the “microstudio”: Scripts are pouring in, which means Motion Theory won’t be relegated to its one-minute masterpieces for long.