Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘animation’

02 FEBRUARY, 2010

How the Dutch Do Title Sequences


What steampunk, broccoli and an electrocuted apple have to do with celebrating indiscriminate curiosity.

We love clever title sequences. And we love a great stop-frame animation. So we’re all over today’s short-and-sweet, the brilliant opening sequence and end titles animation for Dutch science show Het Klokhuis (The Apple Core).

Het Klokhuis is Holland’s oldest and most indiscriminately curious youth TV show, covering everything from how to grow broccoli to dinosaur history to the inner workings of the iPhone. So it’s only fitting the title sequence would embody that techno-curious spirit, partnering with London-based experimental sculptor and designer Jethro Haynes and using the latest 3D printing technology to build the apple core models.

We love the fusion of steampunkish retro-funk and bleeding-edge modern slickness.

Out of Amsterdam’s irreverent KesselsKramer ad agency (try refreshing that head-scratcher of a homepage a few times to see what we mean) and production studio Nexus.

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18 DECEMBER, 2009

A Stop-Motion Treat from BBC Radio 1


42,000 antidotes to anonymity, or how to close the feedback loop by opening up the silo.

We’re all for openness and transparency. Which is why we love BBC Radio 1′s Access All Areas initiative — a weeklong experimental exercise in cracking open the silo and offering listeners a gritty, live look behind the scenes of the iconic studio.

As part of the project, Radio 1 launched the Meet The Listeners campaign, negotiating with all the mobile operators to drop charges for picture messages to Radio 1 and asking listeners to send in pictures of themselves in order to put put a face to the loyal audience that defines Radio 1.

In a single day, they received 42,000 photos, then used them to stitch together this lovely stop-motion film:

Simple, wonderful.

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14 DECEMBER, 2009

The Story of Cap & Trade


What lurks beneath the buzzwords and how to digest the hard-to-swallow.

You may recall The Story of Stuff — Annie Leonard’s brilliant 20-minute animated film, dissecting the “materials economy” and dispelling a number of sustainability myths.

This month, Leonard and her team release The Story of Cap & Trade, an equally cunning, captivating and fact-rich look at COP15′s favorite sustainability solution. The engaging, fast-paced film probes into the hidden dangers of the proposed (non-)solution, from how the biggest polluters are exploiting the system’s loopholes to why climate Band-Aids like fake offsets don’t work, and exposes the dysfunctional reverse logic at the core of the concept.

A growing number of scientists, students, farmers and forward-thinking business people are all saying, ‘Wait a minute…’ In fact, even the economists who invented the cap-and-trade system to deal with simpler problems [...] say cap-and-trade can never work for climate change.

Though in this day and age, climate conspiracy theorists abound, Leonard’s film delivers a punchy yet sober account of an incredibly complex, multifaceted and little-understood issue — all in just under 10 minutes.

We like the idea of illuminating a political buzzword, allowing us common folk to digest the hype-coated serving of headline-worthy fluff. (We also like that the film puts its money where its mouth is and “recycles” some of the Story of Stuff footage, whether or not the wink is intentional.) Because without an open social conversation, there can’t be widespread understanding, which means there can’t be widespread action. And without that, COP15 is just a bunch of suits burning up jet fuel to spend a week in a Scandinavian hotspot.

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