Theme, Story, and Motion Graphics in Film (Reflecting on Readings)

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What follows are my takeaways from the 2nd chapter of Liz Blazer’s “Animated Storytelling” and the 2nd chapter of Jon Krasner’s “Motion Graphic Design.”

Click here for my thoughts on the first chapters from each book.

In chapter 2 of Animated Storytelling, Liz Blazer focuses on Motion Graphics as a means to tell stories. As she describes, Motion Graphics / Animation is a virtually limitless medium for a storyteller; the only limit is that of the creator’s imagination. This “Sky is the Limit” mentality certainly inspired me to delve deeper into the medium, but Blazer also warns readers to limit themselves for the sake of their work; as she describes, one of the biggest challenges in developing a story in such a limitless medium is to limit yourself when necessary. By doing this, one can focus on the quality of their story, theme, etc.

Blazer also devotes much of this chapter towards discussing theme (i.e. the message behind one’s story) and its relationship with the structure and development of a story. She highlights two story structures: Three-Act structure, and Non-liner structure, the latter of which is more complicated.

My future projects will definitely have a much stronger emphasis on story. For now, I will practice with the Three-Act structure, but I definitely plan to implement non-linear storytelling for future projects.

Blazer’s chapter on storytelling is beautifully complemented by chapter 2 of Motion Graphic Design. Author Jon Krasner gives readers a brief overview of the history Motion Graphics in film. Specifically, he highlights industry innovators like Saul Bass and Kyle Cooper, whose work on countless opening film credits (Alfred Hitchcock films, David Fincher’s Se7en, etc.) illustrates the medium as a means to tell intimate stories and set the tone for each respective film.

These two readings offer a plethora of inspiration for anyone approaching motion graphics as a canvas for telling stories. Both readings certainly inspire me to experiment further with motion graphics while working hard to craft fine stories.

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