The Internet, In Visuals

Motion graphics ninja and illustrator, Alex Mapar, took “internet” to the next level when he contributed to Buck Films latest work “Onward Internet” – In under 2 minutes, this collage of gifs captures hours of conceptual development and creative execution to visually celebrate the internet and it’s entirety. Lasers, spray paint, clay and wood later the project came together in collaboration with POSSIBLE along with a team of dedicated producers (Orion Tait, Anne Skopas, Thomas Schimd, Anabella Zubillaga ,Jonathon Gorman, Justin Fines … to name a few) in effort to answer the question: How do you make a spot that paints a portrait of the internet…? Their answer, “You use every crayon in the box, that’s how!” – I caught up with one of the designers to learn more about the project and his work.

AG: What interested you most in joining this project? Alex: I was onboard for the movies/music/jif/gifts/gifs section, and I also did some design work on the rolling ball section too. The rest of the film was done by various friends at Buck NY, all of which are amazingly talented and great to be around both personally and creatively.

AG: How many hours in total were spent on this project? Alex: I was onboard for 3 weeks total and made the movies/music/jif/gifts/gifs section and also did some design work on the rolling ball section too. This split to about a week and a half on design and problem solving, a half a week on setup, and then the animation itself just happening on the last week over the same time. As always with the projects you’re closer to, I would have loved an extra few days to polish things up more though!

AG: As a creative yourself, what was the most important message to communicate through this art, in your opinion? Alex: As a piece of communication – hopefully only that the internet is a pretty amazing thing to have. The art in our end of advertising is mostly what we can do to tell stories in new, more interesting ways, visual languages, approaches etc.

AG: With all of the projects you have worked on, what is most significant about this one (conceptually, creatively, and from a production standpoint)? Alex: Creatively and conceptually, this project was a rare case where there was proper time allocated to considered, creative exploration to make something new. It felt more like art than advertising at times, which is amazingly rewarding though totally nerve racking as a professional. This sort of collage video usually looks helter skelter too, so to do it right there were a huge amount of parameters that we had to balance and fit with. This was to make sure the individual part of the overall film wasn’t standing out too much, didn’t look out of place, pace or story etc.

Production wise, it was a bit of a culmination of all the other skills I’d taken on over the years. 3d animation, traditional 2d animation, replacement animation, a really tight script and elaborate transitions. 3d software generally isn’t made for replacement animation where each frame shows a different shape. It tries to do the inbetweens for you automatically so it’s a tiny fight to force it into letting you do it all manually.

AG: What is your opinion in general of the internet day, and how it continues to evolve?
Alex: It’s an incredible advancement that’s touched almost every part of the human experience, good and bad today. I’m personally inclined to hope the free spirit of the early internet that led to all this doesn’t change too much over time.

AG: If you could change the way the “internet” works, what might you change?
Alex: I think the biggest onus of change is really on us to evolve culturally and come to terms with how to coexist with this amazing tool that’s with us at any time in the day. We need to figure out how to plug into and unplug from it all in a balanced way. In a narrower sense, security does need to be both more robust and simpler for the average person to take advantage of too. Personally I’d love to run my full creative programs through the internet like google docs etc did for word processing – that would really be great, I’m sure one day!

Onward Internet

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About Angela Gleason

visual designer | writer | pianist in the basement | painter in the night | fashion critic | lush | Italian savant check me out: www.taxisandwalnuts.com