Enduring life in a pandemic gives you plenty of chances to navigate chaos. Just reading the news is daily opportunity to deal with disruption and decide what to do next.
When the lockdowns confined us to our corners, people in every industry were forced to find creative ways to work outside their comfort zone. In the midst of this global shift to distributed work, people still have to coordinate projects and meet deadlines. But when you can’t gather in the same room to brainstorm, how can you collaborate on a complex creative assignment?
Kook Ewo is the founder of the motion design industry’s premiere global event, Motion Plus Design. Since launching in 2015, his event has expanded to 15 cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Rio, Istanbul, San Francisco, Mexico City, Berlin, Barcelona, Athens, Taipei and Shanghai.
Every year, Ewo selects a team of designers to create a special project to debut at the Motion Plus Design events. The goal is to give artists the freedom to collaborate without any brief so they can explore different ways to merge their distinctive styles.
This year, he wanted to try a new approach. He assembled a team of six gifted designers, each based in different cities around the world—Marco Bagni from Berlin, Curry Tian from Los Angeles, Fernando Lazzari from London, Melvin Le Riboter from Paris, Hsi-Jen Liu from Taipei, and Muhammad Naveed from Istanbul.
Then, rather than asking the team to work towards a unified vision—as they did for last year’s Firmament video—he asked each designer to create few seconds of motion design that would build upon an idea in the previous designer’s work. It’s a technique known as Exquisite Corpse.
Working without an assigned theme, each designer would contribute a piece of the puzzle, extending the trail of imaginative work set in motion by the collaborator that came before. It’s sort of the designer’s equivalent of “Yes, and…” improvisation.
To coordinate their work, the team shared one Dropbox folder and used Dropbox Paper to share the inspirations. Now that the film is finished, they want to show design students a complete view of their working process.
“We had this great opportunity to use the Dropbox tools,” Ewo explains. “They can do all the process work on the concepts directly on Dropbox Paper. The big idea was that they can also share the sources. I think it has never been done before at this scale in the motion design industry.”
“There was an amazing synergy to have these artists create through Dropbox and then share through Dropbox,” says Ewo. “In our motion design world, people are already used to working remotely because they are working internationally. That's why Dropbox is something that we use a lot. We are talking a lot with storyboards, mood boards, and videos in reference, so every tool that we use can work with Dropbox.”