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Last Thursday marked the 30th Motion North Showcase, a quarterly industry meet up of animators, motion designers….and more.

What better way to relax after work, than with a glass of wine, excellent company, and an insight into the workings of two incredibly talented motion design agencies?

Experimentation, creativity and loads of CGI. This is how James and Andrew of Future Deluxe kicked off the first half of the evening.

The duo spoke of their early years as a company, highlighting the importance of curiosity and being driven by the new. Future Deluxe chose to focus on what they wanted to make in those early days, as winning customers was not the sole purpose of their creations, instead they wanted to experiment and explore as much as possible. This was a brave yet rewarding move, as these creations allowed them to fill their site and social media, gain visibility, and generate business.

Guest speakers James and Adrian from Future Deluxe

They also highlighted that for them, collaboration is a must, there is no chance of being a soloist in the big network of artists they have. For example, Sound and Audio designers should be brought in to a project very early on, as they are key in helping to create a space. In order to fully engage the audiences senses you need excellent audio, therefore these elements should not be an after thought, or left to the last minute. 

James and Andrew closed their set by discussing the importance of chasing the highest possible quality- or even perfection- especially in more challenging projects. We were fortunate enough to witness some creations from some of their more difficult and unusual briefs, including the Love campaign for Absolute, and the Marvel Legions brief, where the focus became the word Mind**** (insert expletive here). 

After a break and few more drinks, Will, a motion designer from The Mill took to the stage. Originally founded in London in 1990, The Mill were the first VFX company in Europe using digital methods for advertisement and, during a period of time, films too.

Guest speaker Will from The Mill

Will used the Spa Experiment project for “LUSH” as an example of what you can achieve when you shake up the traditional guidelines and boundaries of advertisements. In this case they focused around Synesthesia*;

A cryptologist collected data from the human responses to a massage in a spa. His data (including heartbeat, brain waves and breath) was then represented through animated art and graphics. The challenge here came from matching the animation to the real data that was collected.

Will covered other fantastic projects including the Huawei Mate 10, where they could experiment and go crazy. They focused on embracing different features of the phone and represented these using a combination of technical yet organic feeling graphics. Although this project didn’t have the smoothest start in terms of concept, this allowed them to push themselves and think outside of the box. Will highlighted here that although it can at times be challenging to achieve exactly what the design team is looking for, the VFX team always manage to pull it out of the bag, and make everything look great. 

Like all Motion Norths I’ve been to, this one certainly sparked feelings of inspiration. The work displayed throughout the evening was entertaining, imaginative, and motivating, and it was great to be surrounded by those who share a passion for the field. I’d like to thank Future Deluxe and The Mill for coming along and sharing their work and wisdom. 

Make sure you save the date for the next Motion North on the 17th of January, you don’t want to miss out!

*Synesthesia – a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.


Photo’s by Joshua Macey