What we know screen graphics is called a myriad of different names: interactive motion graphics, 24-frame playback, computer effects, computer playback, and many more. But I’m still regularly asked what EXACTLY it is.
I generally use the Matrix example more. “You know how that guy who has the screens with the code leaking and then he writes some stuff and touches some monitors around him and then the guys inside the matrix get downloaded shows right into their heads? Well, we make all those screens work “.
Most people think that everything is done in post, so everything is a green screen in the day, but in most cases, it is the other way around. Composing a single monitor in a static frame can cost more than $ 1000 and the cost of the artwork to appear on the screen is in addition to that.
Move that kind of information into a room with 5 to 50 monitors, and you’ll see a huge cost for every shot that has a computer monitor, especially if it is a moving shot where the composer will have to follow the movement of each screen along with the frame. Now we are talking about long hours and a lot of money.
Therefore, it is more profitable for movies to have someone put the graphics on the actual screens. It also greatly improves the acting of the actors.
You just have to watch any one of Star Wars Eps 1-3 to see how stiff the performance is when you don’t actually know what’s in front of you. Actors love being able to press buttons and hit touch screens during their scenes.
Having to do it in a certain order can stretch their abilities, and I’m quite bowled over by how utterly computer-illiterate some of them are. Don’t they use email?
It is our job to make it impossible to screw things up. That is why they are all typing geniuses. We make it so they can type anything old, and the handwriting still comes out the way it is supposed to every time.
We also put little lock codes in our programming so they can’t accidentally escape graphic work midway through. It’s amazing how many of them can write the Esc button when they are supposed to write LOGIN.
It’s also our job to design the graphics that go on the screens, and this is where the real fun begins. With direction from the director, production designer, or both, we take your ideas and turn them into actual images. This can be the fun part, as some jobs allow the imagination to run free, but other times it is as simple as making moving wallpaper for the background screens.
There are a wide variety of places in the movies that may need our kind of services. The cabins are common, along with the mission control that accompanies the flight. Hacking into computer systems is another common thing, and then, of course, there are the ubiquitous “signs of life” from the hospital. I think we’ve done this 100 times, but each time they have to be a little different.
It’s strange to work, but I think you’ll find that most of the people who do it really enjoy it. There is a certain freedom to be had in the design area, and as long as you stay in summary most of the time, you will get comments like “that’s perfect” and “that’s great” because the director only had a rough idea of what you really wanted in the first place.
The complicated complexities and headaches usually lie with the hardware department and set construction, but I’ll leave that for next time. In the meantime, I hope this clears up a bit what “screen graphics” are, and, yes, there are people who do that for a living.
Differentiation. It’s about being original; break free from the competition; lead, not follow. Do you want to fight your way away from the crowd, away from the noise, and closer to your customer?
How will you be different?
Along with the perfectly chosen and placed words that make up the timeless writings that emerge as a treasured book, something we keep by our bedside, travel far and wide, or relax as we snuggle in front of a cozy fireplace, a good book on Design is important to an author, especially for self-published authors who don’t have the talented staff of a major publisher offering design options.
That will have them pick it up and open the first page—never wanting to leave it. There is an art in giving carefully chosen words an appearance that helps them represent hope, excitement, or intrigue.
A small change in size, font style, or placement on the page can go a long way in giving your fascinating book a powerful personality. Paragraphs should be of an adequate length so that they do not seem overwhelming, not too long, not too short, but smartly balanced and readable for everyone, not just elite readers. I have seen some books so jumbled and disorganized that a man would shudder at the very thought of trying to read them.
There are many ways that a graphic designer can help you increase the sales of your books. Of course, there is advertising in the form of a flyer, poster, or magazine ad. You can put together a media pack or marketing kit for your book, which can include a CD, an advertisement, a bookmark, a coupon for your next book, etc.
You may need invitations for your book signing that will surely be in your near future. You can promote yourself using just your name, but a personal logo to brand your product is much more effective and professional-looking. You may need business cards and letterheads designed to enhance your brand image. Are you submitting a newsletter to your database?
Why not turn your print book into an ebook that you can sell on your website? What? Don’t have a website? Every need a website, and I know someone who can customize the one that best suits their needs. Jessica Dockter is the graphic designer working in collaboration with the writers of Write On!