I just looked over the winners of the Annual Information is Beautiful Awards summary written on Creative Review (see here), and realized how much animation storytelling has filtered down into all facets of communication. This seems very obvious, but when you see how some of the pieces that are focused at telling journalist reports are equivalent to trailers for films or video games you begin to realize how important good graphic design and moving image design has become to the demonstration of culture at large.
It used to be that movie title sequences were the forums for incredible animation innovation and creative expression. If I remember correctly, the Bond films started it all off many moons ago and over the decades the top talents in motion graphics have flocked to houses that focus on just those precious few minutes at the start of motion pictures. We need only look at a few examples from the past years to see the point.
Tim Burton – Due to the nature of his films had consistently intriguing and visually mesmerizing title sequences in his film. Here is the one for Alice In Wonderland. (see film info here)
Jon Favreau – Comic inspired films usually have brilliant title sequences to pay homage to the origins of their stories. Here is the one for Iron Man that is stunning. (see film info here)
Jason Reitman – Topical films generally lean into visual iconography of the topic that they are telling a story about to immerse you in the world that they will unveil. Thank You For Smoking is a perfect example. (see film info here)
What is now the case is that the same level of visual storytelling prowess is being used to narrate news pieces or short info-docs. Look back a few years and this was not the case. Sure animation has been used but it was very purposeful and utilitarian versus being entertaining or emotionally captivating. However, audiences today seem to crave or even expect this level of moving image storytelling or they will not even engage. Worse, they may not truly understand the depth of the information without a strong visual element to help them be immersed in the details, to live them. The piece below which brings to life the origin, power, and effect of the recent Stuxnet virus is a perfect example (see here for info on Wikipedia). The downside to this phenomenon is that real stories with real consequences get trivialized because they are served up with huge entertainment. What are your thoughts?