Gentleman Scholar, Motion Poems Bring Poetry to Life

By Erik Oster 

Los Angeles-based production company Gentleman Scholar teamed up with Motionpoems, “a non-profit that pairs up-and-coming poets with award-winning design, production and visual effects studios,” to create a visualization of Dora Malech’s poem “Working Order.”

Art directors Jordan Lyle and JP Rooney took the lead on the project, leading their team through the process, “from conceptualization to storyboarding to animation.” Lyle and Rooney were given complete creative freedom on the project and arrived at an intriguing visual interpretation of the poem.


“We wanted to do something that matched the personality of Gentleman Scholar, so we focused on making it risky and unique, while allowing it to remain accessible to a wide audience,” Rooney said. “Creating the imagery was really fun. It had to feel haunting, but not haunted.”

The project took several months to complete, as Lyle and Rooney painted each image by hand “before combining them with 2D and 3D techniques to create the stunning set of motion graphics featured in the video.” Stick around for full credits following the jump.


Client: Motionpoems
Executive Producers: Todd Boss, Egg Creative, Jennifer David

Production: Gentleman Scholar
Creative Directors: Will Campbell, Will Johnson
Executive Producer: Lindsay Bodanza
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Art Directors, Lead Designers: Jordan Lyle, JP Rooney
Producer: Nikki Maniolas
3D Animators: Tim Hayward, Ben Grangereau, Ryan Kirkwood
2D Animators, Designers: Sang Shin, Peter Lee, Heather Aquino, Calvin Prieto

Poem: “Working Order” by Dora Malech

Score: Singing Serpent Music
Sound Design: Eleven Sound
Mixer: Ben Freer

Casting: Sound Lounge
Director: Carrie Faverty
Voice Over: Anthoula Katsimatides