PhD on Design – Motion Graphics

LOS ANGELES (USA) – VALENCIA (SPAIN) 2005-2011

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The 4th of May of 2011 at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) I made the defence of my dissertation entitled “New languages of design: motion graphics. Question state and comparative analysis of Kyle Cooper’s work”.

The Doctoral court was composed by Raquel Pelta, Alfonso Ruiz, Antón Arana, Maria Lorenzo and Sara Álvarez.
Thesis Director: Rodrigo Pérez Galindo.

The research has been supported by Kyle Cooper and has been counted with the collaboration of numerous artists interviewed by the author as:

KYLE COOPER [Director PrologueFilms]
DANNY YOUNT [Creative Director PrologueFilms]
MASON NICOLL [Creative Director  PrologueFilms]
IAN DAWSON [Producer PrologueFilms]
ELLEN STAFFORD [Producer PrologueFilms]
NATE PARK [Editor PrologueFilms]
TEO GUILLEM [Director Dvein]
FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ [Director Dvein]
GARSON YU [Director Yu+Co]
BRANDON MARTINEZ [DirectorColourMovie]
RICHIE ADAMS [Director RiverRoadFilms]
JAMIE CALIRI [Director]
*SCOTT COOPER [Kyle Cooper’s brother]

PhD ABSTRACT

When we talk about motion graphics the first thing that you wonder is, what are motion graphics?

In Fact this is a term surrounded by a lot of controversy, a few artists said that they make motion graphics and there are many people from the research field devoted to establishing what are and what not motion graphics are.

But, what are motion graphics? Are graphics in motion? Are typography in motion?  Both? For the time being we have had a lot of people who would tell us that we are right, but what if we add one picture to those graphics and typography, is it still being motion graphics? And what if that picture becomes an image in motion, are it still being motion graphics? And what happens if we divide the screen into two parts having a complex 3D animation in one of them, are it still being motion graphics? And if the typography suddenly disappears from this composition, are it still being motion graphics? There are many questions to answer. We could keep on making complicated possibilities but it would be very difficult in many cases to have an agreement with two theorists in order to classify an audiovisual work within a genre.

In fact, nowadays the same dilemma is being considered, even in the foundation of the film industry. For example, the films 300 and Sin City, what are they? They have more digital effects than real shooting scenes. How do we call that futuristic films made in 3D animation, those which no one can distinguish from real live action movies.

In the present research we analyse the work of Kyle Cooper as a way to shed some light on the subject.

This research is structured in three blocks based on general concepts. We focus on Kyle Cooper and the digital revolution that supposed the opening credits of the film Seven, directed in 1995 by David Fincher. We analyzed both this work in-depth and its author Kyle Cooper, as a starting point to contextualize the motion graphics.

The first block is titled motion graphics. We will review the controversy that the term in itself raises. We will define the fundamental components of motion graphics: graphic design and audiovisuals.

We will review the history and evolution of this particular area, not pretending to make a detailed list of works and authors, but a short review that contextualizes the subject through some representative examples.

We also review the studies that cover the field of motion graphics. Furthermore, we will talk about formats and applications as well as the tools and techniques of motion graphics.

In the second block, we will focus on the credit title designer Kyle Cooper, considered one of the greatest designers of motion graphics.

We will start making a review of Mr. Cooper’s biography and his filmography. We will talk about his beginnings, his education and his stay in RGA, Imaginary Forces and Prologue. We will continue to review his working method through a series of fundamental concepts that from our point of view are all common in Cooper’s work: the importance of edition, the idea or concept, working with the client, narrative uses of graphic design and audiovisual, the work of a director and the limits with the art.

At the end of the block, we will analyze in depth several works of Kyle Cooper to deep from another point of view in to his methodology, we will analyze the credits that he made for Wimbledon, Mimic titles, their participation in The Island of Dr. Moreau  and credits made for Spiderman, Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3.

The last part of the block is dedicated to Cooper´s influences. We will discuss the role that played Paul Rand in his formation, and the enormous influence of filmmakers and cinematography.

In the last block, we will go into details analyzing the credits, considered the revolution in titles of the nineties, Seven.

We will also go into details in the work process, and we will analyze in depth the work to verify, through analysis, how in the opening credits, through a poetic narrative, he presents the character of the psychopathic murderer, the main character of the film.

We need to explain from the very beginning which is our focus in this research, because it happens inside the Fine Arts. Aesthetic and artistic criteria have been the driving force to select the authors, emphasise works or analyze them.

PhD INDEX

New languages of design: motion graphics. Question state and comparative analysis of Kyle Cooper’s work.

1. INTRODUCTION

2. MOTION GRAPHICS

2.1. INTRODUCTION
2.2. MOTION GRAPHICS TERM
2.3. FACTORS AND INFLUENCIES OF MOTION GRAPHICS
2.4. BASIC FORMATS AND APPLICATIONS
2.5. BASIC TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
2.6. STUDIES THAT COVER THE MOTION GRAPHICS´ FIELD
2.7. HISTORY AND EVOLUTION

3. KYLE COOPER

3.1. INTRODUCTION

3.2. BIOGRAPHY / FILMOGRAPHY
3.2.1. Beginning
3.2.2. Education
3.2.3. RG/A
3.2.4. Imaginary Forces
3.2.5. Prologue Films

3.3. METHODOLOGY / WORK METHOD
3.3.1. Introduction
3.3.2. Concepts and work philosophy
3.3.2.1. Edition / Editorial Animation
3.3.2.2. The importance of the idea / Technology VS Tradition
3.3.2.3. Client / director – collaboration
3.3.2.4. Typography / Design VS Audiovisuals
3.3.2.5. The director´s job / the champion of the project
3.3.2.6. Art limits / audiovisual poetry
3.3.3. Analysis of work
3.3.3.1. Mimic
3.3.3.2. The Island of Dr. Moreau
3.3.3.3. Wimbledon
3.3.3.4. Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3

3.4. INFLUENCES
3.4.1. Paul Rand
3.4.2. Filmmakers and Cinematography
3.4.3. Other Influences

4. SEVEN

4.1. INTRODUCTION
4.2. SEVEN, THE FILM
4.3. THE CONCEPT / FIRST IDEAS
4.4. WORK PROCESS
4.5. INFLUENCES
4.6. CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS

5. CONCLUSIONS

6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

6.1. BOOKS
6.2. ARTICLES ON MAGAZINES AND PUBLICATIONS
6.3. ONLINE ARTICLES
6.4. CONSULTED SITES
6.5. VIDEOS AND DOCUMENTARIES
6.6. PRIVATED INTERVIEWS

7. ATTACHED

7.1. TEACHING APPLICATION / Concept Visions
7.2. DECOUPAGE SEVEN OPENING CREDITS

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