NODE — Connected By Motion

James Cowen of Yes Captain on-the-spot with acclaimed Motion Designer Raoul Marks.

Last month, I was fortunate enough to attend NODE at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne. NODE is the first industry event of its kind in Australia aimed specifically at Motion Graphics Artists and Animation professionals, as well as students, enthusiasts, and aspiring designers.

The tagline for the event ‘Connected by Motion’ sums up its aim accurately, described by the event organisers as a chance to “bring the best in Australian Motion Graphics and Animation together to share their work, industry insights and creative inspiration with peers and wannabes”.

The event was held inside one of ACMI’s cinemas, which allowed speakers to present their work to a captive audience. It also meant presenters could demonstrate the creative and technical challenges of real-world projects on a large screen with great audio, effectively immersing viewers on the journey to great effect.

The line-up of guest speakers was a great mix of accomplished designers, creative directors, producers, and VFX supervisors. They covered topics as diverse as:

  • How best to pitch successfully to clients (Annabel Dundas of TILT Creative, Mel);
  • How to create innovative campaigns for not-for-profits (Erin & AJ from ROOM3, Mel);
  • Technical discussions on the benefits of creating work procedurally vs handcrafted (Tim Clapham, LUXX, Syd) and;
  • How to shoot live-action video for use in combination with motion design (Chris Morris, Breeder, Bris).

For those who were especially eager, there was a competition to create a 10–15 second identity featuring the NODE logo for the chance to win professional motion graphics software.

All the NODE identities were screened on the large outdoor screen at Federation Square during the lunch break for all to see. The winners were announced shortly thereafter — determined by a panel of judges, also taking into account the highest number of public votes.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, I submitted this entry:

Unfortunately, it didn’t take out a prize, but the winners were definitely deserving and it was inspiring to see such a diverse and impressive collection of work from amazing local talent.

All in all, it was a joy to attend this premier event focused on the Australian Motion Graphics industry. It was insightful to hear from passionate artists and industry leaders about how they create award-winning work. This was a rare opportunity to meet with and be inspired by so many other skilled artists and creatives all under the one roof.

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