I think the most effective of their existing films were the ones with a strong narrative. These often made use of fitting metaphors to communicate the complex ideas around emotional issues. The best of these walked the line between story and traditional motion graphic “explainer” videos (videos which very literally represent ideas or information).
I think Jesse Collett’s collaboration with the School of Life does this best. The film tackles the issue of self esteem by using clever sound design and physical comedy to make the viewer empathise and identify with a single character. Keeping the colour scheme and character design simple allows the viewer to project themselves onto the character and so better apply the messages and advice of the film to their own life.
Another example of a particularly effective, story driven collaboration is Avi Ofer, whose tender and naive style lends itself well to the film ‘Why You Need an Early Night’. Avi Ofer uses very simple, very effective metaphors to politely and subtlety offer Alain De Botton’s advice to the viewer. Advice that may come across as patronising were it not for the authentic imperfections in Avi’s film, reminiscent of the visceral work of Quentin Blake and Ralph Steadman.
I consider this authenticity and sincerity to be one of the most important factors in communicating a message that deals so deeply with our emotions. Often this authenticity comes from the imperfections in our work; the charm of a lopsided character or the wobble of a hand drawn line.
I think this is especially relevant today as we are routinely subjected to pixel perfect digital graphics, glossy advertisements and gleaming typography designed by a team of anonymous creatives somewhere in Salford. Though Alain De Botton condemns the romantic idea of the revered individual creator, I think that immense value can be found in the quirks and mistakes of the lone creative.