AIGA Conference
Thought + Play
© 2015

“Discard Everything that Means Nothing” is at the core of our design process. We recently put it at the center of 14 interstitial films that we created for the AIGA conference in New Orleans.

We played with all kinds of animation, live action and digital formats and pointed both real and imaginary cameras at wood, water, metal, thread and paper. We might have been carried away a bit—they only asked for five pieces—but it’s hard to stop when you are having this much fun.

“SPAM” was created by Ben Nichols. The film communicates the idea that the need to filter information overload has become more pressing as we inhabit an increasingly hectic digital world.
Jess Bennett and Elliott Chaffer created "Unravel”, which interprets our mantra -- "Discard everything that means nothing" -- as in invitation to practice some reverse engineering. Knitting transforms a simple strand of yarn into something complex and functional. For this short, basic swatches were knitted in different dimensions and then undone to restore the fiber to its most basic, linear form. Filming the unravel of the knit celebrates that simplicity.
Rosie Garschina, Paris Glickman, Jen Chua and Koda Ko created “Reduction”. This is a film that exposes craft and process. Repeated umlauts form a grid of dots that support a rigid type system. Vignettes of letterforms being constructed take the viewer through the methodical process of constructing our hero logotype.
String Theory
Brian Bowman created “String Theory.” This piece explores the creative properties of tension and release as physical forces. Test forms out of tautness, reaches its limit, and unravels into the void.
White Rain
“White Rain,” was created by Ben Nichols and September Raines. The film represents an evocative flow of digital noise, which reveals the tagline out of darkness.
This film is entitled “Presence". Created by Elliott Chaffer and Tom Edwards, it depicts our mantra and theme brought to life as a kinetic ghost of light, moving through the studio after hours and bringing positive karma for the next day’s endeavors.
Color Theory
“Color Theory” was created by Chace Hartman, John Lee and September Raines. The full spectrum of color is infinite, but when the three primary elements are reduced they create white. Acoustic wavelengths and color wavelengths were matched based on the waves they produce, to truly illustrate the color of sound.
Nails + String
“Nails + Strings” was created by Elliott Chaffer, Koda Ko and Paris Glickman. Sometimes we have to kill our darlings. This film represents complex structure reduced to nothing in an attempt to get back to simplicity.
"Explosion", was created by Mitch Monson. Mitch and Jamie Heuton from HDMG worked with practical shooting effects and a green screen to create a seamless integration of physical type and digital type. The process involved plaster casting of type, an expert marksman, a phantom camera and a sunny day for exploding things in the country.
What Remains
"What Remains", was created by Fionna Mariani. In this film, Fionna distilled a text by visually cutting away whole paragraphs in a book to reach the core meaning. The process of elimination both reveals the final message, and reflects our shared theme.
"Disturbance" was created by Mitch Monson. In this film, Mitch worked with Andimages in Minneapolis and their "fluid dynamics" software that generates organic fulid effects in REAL-TIME. Since these fluid dynamics resembled the look and feel of the human brain, we thought the connection of "Everything is in your Mind" and "Discard Everything that means Nothing" was an interesting storyline. These REAL-TIME effects were ultimately Live Captured directly from the graphics monitor to a hard drive. The possibilities of this real-time capability are endless.
Elliott Chaffer, Jen Chua and September Raines created “Breathe”. This piece invited the audience to take a pause for the cause with some deep breaths.
Ice Type
“Ice Type” was created by Elliott Chaffer and Samantha Engler, with September Raines. Here, the tagline is made of frozen black ink, on watercolor paper. The text is filmed in time-lapse as it slowly disintegrates, sinuously changing form and merging into a liquid mass before reverting to a solid state
Created by Brian Bowman, “Untitled” depicts an obstructive web of string that is cut away so the camera can travel forward and through a window to the view beyond, as we observe dusk turning to night. The film was recorded in several takes using motion control.
Behind The Scenes
This Behind the Scenes video captures the making of our film “Explosion”. Shot in a cornfield outside of Minneapolis by Creative Director Mitch Monson, HDMG Partner and Tech Director Jamie Heuton, you will get a glimpse of all the practical construction and coordination that it took to pull all these physical production techniques together into one seamless, explosive effect. 34 molded plaster letters, 21 rounds of ammunition, 20 yards of fishline and a Phantom Miro produce an unforgettable day of shooting -- with no one harmed in the process.