New York-based post production boutique Northern Lights teamed up with director Graham Elliott to uncover the passion and innovation that fuels the New York City Motion Graphics Industry in the illustrative documentary New York in Motion. In the film, Elliott interviews over 50 of the most influential players in the motion graphics field, defining the industry as it is today, how it's evolved over the years and where it's going.
After a highly successful debut screening in April, the documentary is poised to make a splash in the film festival circuit with slated screenings at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) from November 16-27, the Pause Fest in Melbourne, Australia (November 7-13), A Design Film Festival in Singapore (November 3-20) and the International Motion Festival in Cyprus (March 2012). The interviews include executives from such influential studios as Psyop, Shilo, Mr. Wonderful, Brand New School, 1st AveMachine and TV networks including MTV, BET, NBC and Comedy Central along with a wide array of top freelance designers and artists.
Elliott, an industry veteran of 20 years and Music Video/Motion Graphics instructor at the School of Visual Arts, was inspired to create this film as he began to see a spike of interest in the school's Motion Graphics department without students having a solid awareness of what actually encompassed this burgeoning industry. Originally intending to create an eight to twelve-minute short piece to be used as an informational video at graduation, Elliott quickly realized that his 100+ hours of footage were much better suited for a longer-form project. "What was most inspiring is the passion that people had for their work," noted Elliott. "I found a really amazing industry out there and the irony is the recession has really helped the industry in New York, allowing companies to branch into other creative services and allowing for fresh talent to open up their own shops."
Northern Lights' Tony Sprayberry mixed the audio for the film. "New York in Motion was a fun and interesting challenge," he commented. "Mostly being recorded by students brought a great deal of different perspectives and unique creativity, which Graham did an incredible job turning into a very engaging and informative movie. He had compiled audio/interviews from every corner of NY, laying in a great range of Local and CreativeCommons music. I stepped in to interpret what Graham heard in his head to the audience, while being granted license to tastefully sound design and tweak."
Not only does the documentary capture the essence of the Motion Graphics industry, but it also displays the enchanting energy that New York City radiates and how it constantly fuels creativity in the industry. Elliott integrates stop-motion throughout the film and uses images that depict the endlessly motion that defines the Big Apple. "New York City dwellers are up against different demographics of people everyday and have encounters that inspire the various personalities within the industry," said Elliott.
In addition to festival screenings, the film has sparked interest in the industry as a whole, inspiring New York City's Center for Urban Future to explore the possibility of pushing government agencies to put more financial backing into the design industries, which provide a great deal of business within the city.