(guest post by Dylan Endicott, DD35)
The Digital Design 35th class at VFS was given the opportunity to get an inside look at everything Giant Ant. When Louise Lee, the heart that pumps blood through the DD program, told our class that we would get to visit Giant Ant, there was an eruption of enthusiastic proportions. There is a reputation that Giant Ant holds as one of top-notch studios in the motion graphics industry.
Our impression of them only improved after our visit. Seeing and learning a bit about their process really solidified for us the fact the money doesn’t drive this studio — It’s passion. Collectively, the class now knows that big things truly do come in small packages. What Jay and Leah have built in such a competitive industry is not only impressive but incredibly inspiring. Jay led the class on an adventure through Giant Ant’s files and process, which, to some, may not sound like fun, but our class could have stayed all day.
A studio of no more than 40 employees is relatively small for this industry, but this has allowed the development of a family, not only co-workers. The atmosphere is very laid-back and comforting – not to be confused with unprofessional; Giant Ant is a studio with an environmentally-conscious and socially-responsible attitude. Their clients and work reflect this, with clients such as Costa Del Mar, bringing much needed awareness to the amount of plastic in our oceans. There’s everything from the conservation of the sports fishing industry, to clients who deal with problem gambling (PGIO), and a shoe company that’s sole purpose is to provide every kid with shoes (TOMS).
During a time when the industry sees many overproduced animations and effects, Giant Ant has managed to simplify things. Timing, storytelling, passion, enthusiasm and love (Rule #3) shine through everything they’ve created and continue to create. Through our stay at Giant Ant, we learnt that to be a motion designer, you have such an amazing opportunity to inspire, invigorate, motivate, support and save audiences. The ability to Influence is a gift not to be taken lightly. It’s our job to never lose sight of any aspects of motion graphics. There are many pieces to the puzzle: story, animation, dialogue, mood, art direction. All are crucial, miss one and your puzzle is incomplete.
Our class left Giant Ant with a different perspective of what the advertising industry is and can be, and even more aspirations to become motion designers. I can’t speak for every motion designer but the reason we love our job is the inspirational message we are able to provide to audiences. That’s what Giant Ant is all about, so kudos and many thanks to them for having us from the DD35 class.