Research Question

Please bare in mind that although I have managed to write this down as a complete question, it is still unknown whether this is a realistic direction for me or not!! Suggestions welcome of course!

“Are the links between Motion Graphics and other areas of the Arts becoming less defined, and what affect will this have on the future of the Arts disciplines when combined as a collaborative medium?” 

Field of Study

“It calls for an appreciation of how widely, and how profoundly, film as a medium and cinema as in industry have influenced, and been influenced by, the other contemporary arts.” (Snowman and Stevenson, “Spellbound”, 1996, p.7)

Screen and motion art today has become more and more blurred in its output. It’s seen everywhere in society and in every variation. Highlighted by the quote above, it is becoming apparent that motion graphics is no longer just an avenue of entertainment in the box office or media. It has been used and accepted as forms and translations into the ‘high art’ world, and now also crossing boundaries into other existing forms of the ‘arts’.

Video and cinematography is being used to promote aspects of the arts such as theatre and even books, often seen through the form of trailers and shorts. As Dodd stated (“Spellbound”, 1996, p.38), “The connection between art and film is, whatever else, undeniably modern,” our whole perception of film and its output is one of it being a progression and sign of our evolving society. Therefore, to think that film is being used to address and add new avenues onto traditional media, like the theatre and print, can have a point of confusion.

“By now, film, television, theatre, and even literary fiction and the musical products of the recording industry have merged in a common medium of popular story telling and entertainment. The media work for one another, they adopt each other’s wares, they compete. This social and economic fusion cannot but homogenize the properties of form and content by which each medium exerts its purest power over the human mind.” (Arnheim, “Film as Art”, 1957, p.Intro)

Below are some examples of theatre and literary trailers to best illustrate my initial considerations:

“A Monster Calls”, by Patrick Ness

Illustration by Jim Kay

(Courtesy of Chris!!)

The RSC production of “King Lear”, Shakespeare

Made by Dusthouse

The RSC production of “The Taming of The Shrew”, Shakespeare

Made by Dusthouse

Aims & Objectives

Based on the initial research question and subject area outlined, the aims would be to identify and understand the different ways motion has evolved and been defined in its application within the different creative fields. Understanding the new trends that are evolving will lead to a final project piece that either highlights this or, hopefully, can advance into some new territory, within this combined field of the Arts, which shows the possibilities of advancement even further along this new transition.

This means that I could possibly be looking at ways the existing ‘mix-media’ productions could be pushed in the future, and questioning the values of such a movement.

“Although cinema, more than any art, manipulates physical objects and utilises machinery, the problem confronting an artist or student is not unlike the constant challenges inherent in the classic arts. Once cinema’s uniqueness is more fully understood, we shall have an aesthetic key capable of unlocking new windows.” (Edited by Kepes, “The Nature and Art of Motion”, 1965).

My personal aims and objectives are mainly to utilise what I know is already a large element in my life interests, and such things as the theatre and existing exposure to the RSC trailer productions have already influences my direction. I believe that I will be able to more greatly access their wealth of information and understanding especially because I already come from that background (slightly).

I have always had more of an interest within the theatrics of art and video, taking, for example, my final project in my third year BA course, in which I acted out an ‘Alice in Wonderland” scenario, constructing all the outfits, masks and imagery myself:

This highlights my preference for a more modest and hands-on use of film, not to create something through copious software techniques, but to almost reject technology and hand craft all my output techniques. I hope to keep this interest and theatrical creative style in my final major project.

However, understanding the industry and my place within it, I recognise that it is not merely enough to get by on basics. I need to be more commercial with my skills and interests, and make the effort to take advantage of the equipment and personnel expertise around me in this rich environment. This is all to endeavour that I will be more accessible as an employment option outside of education, and also to help me realise that I can expand on my ideas if I allow myself to learn the software available. I believe it is unrealistic to expect that I can pick up anything too technical in the space of time that we have, but I hope to learn enough to let it appear or have influence in my final piece somehow. These would be my professional and educational aims.

The social influences I wish to expand on are the possible connections I will be able to create within the industry of motion, theatre and the arts in general. I am still uncertain of where I can place myself in a working environment, and have always struggled to ‘label’ my attributes, however, if this project direction allows me to play within my existing interests, then I am hoping to gradually build up more of an understanding of the possibilities and relationships I could work on for the future.

The cultural elements I would like to achieve are to recognise the shift in trends within the field of motion, looking at the production results and the social effects. I believe it is important to maintain an understanding of the potential of the field you are looking to enter, trying to future scope and forecast possibilities that are elements that keep you valuable.

Communicative Purposes

I wish to make people more aware of film as a representative of other, traditional art forms. I want to question how best to illustrate this progression. This proposal could communicate to anyone, but especially the new generation of film artists, just as a form of curiosity which they might not have been aware of before.

“The ‘Theatre Trailer’ is a moving beast and one that will continue to evolve over time. Its job is to capture the essence of what an audience may expect to witness, whilst also existing as its own unique piece of art” (Dusthouse, comment on the Guardian blog, 2011 – first accessed 23.02.12)

Action Plan

There are a lot of social issues possibly within this subject area, so I will probably have to look into those further to gain a clear idea of the direction I actually wish to focus on, in regards to the industry and in general context of my final piece. My research direction is also leading towards a very new debate within the motion design world (to do with the quality of theatre trailers and whether they work), so a certain amount of research, secondary and primary, should be done to gain my own perspective and opinion on the issue and how to confront it, or even to use it.

It will be worth refining my research question and trying to ask it of those already in the industry, to gain an accurate idea, from credible and current resources, about the official direction of my subject area.

I will hopefully be able to direct all this gathered information and twist it into visual translations of to answer the research question. This could be through the exploration of existing mixed motion media, and also creating visual tests of how this new brand of motion may be taken further or be seen in the future.

I wish to explore the basic use of video software and editing programmes, and will hopefully be able to apply these in a suitable way to expand my knowledge whilst matching my personal skills.

A greater understanding of possible collaborations should be considered as well, such as the use of actors, sound artists or photography specialists, as this will help give anything I produce a more polished and professional outlook to it.


As you can tell, it is still a very rough concept in my mind and one that will need a lot of twisting and tweaking so that it can remain open enough for me to be able to explore my visual interests, whilst still not over complicating the issues involved (as I have a tendency to always do) so that I struggle to settle on a final outcome.

I will need to gain a better understanding of the possibilities of the subject area I am talking about so that I can gain a complete grasp of what I’m trying to say with it!!