Carbon VFX’s Leo Nguyen Crafts Minimal, Mesmerizing Intro for 2015 Kickstarter Film Festival

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In an effort to whet the audience’s appetite for the 2015 Kickstarter Film Festival, award-winning Design Director Leo Nguyen of creative studio Carbon VFX has crafted a pre-roll video that not only teases the films being shown during the one-day event, but one that intrigues viewers in the process.

According to Nguyen, who joined Carbon VFX this past summer, the Kickstarter Film Festival producers provided him with plenty of open space to work with. “The initial brief was quite loose in that we were asked to create a video that would pre-roll before the festival showcases, with a trailer as our only point of reference,” he says. “I saw this as an opportunity to present something fresh and exciting to the client – to experiment and push the already-realized identity of the festival.”

Inspired, appropriately enough, by typographic projection, Nguyen was able to splice Kickstarter Film Festival assets and manipulate simple elements to create a more complex look and feel. From a design perspective, he explains, “What was particularly appealing to me is the way simple typography can obtain a different characteristic as it bends and distorts on different three-dimensional surfaces. The slightest reposition can repurpose the characteristics of a type and how we interpret its meaning. This little bit of intrigue can project a certain mood and paint a context without much need for its supplementary visuals. This core sensibility became the main motivator for the project, and the perfect extension of the festival’s identity.”

While Nguyen had a minimal amount of time and resources to work with, he was able to thrive on his instinct as a visual communicator and storyteller while utilizing his skills in After Effects for both design and editing to bring this project to fruition. The Carbon VFX Design Director adds, “I do feel that through the challenges of limitation, an aesthetic is shaped by the trust and respect of the audience’s role to fill in the negative space. This is just as unique and interesting as the designer’s immediate point of view.”

It appears that Nguyen’s intuitive process has resonated with the Kickstarter team as well. According to Carbon VFX Partner/Executive Producer, Frank Devlin, whose company has worked with now-Kickstarter director of production Owen Katz for years on projects for the likes of Google and ESPN, “Kickstarter is a pretty progressive company and they were pleasantly surprised at the level of production value we were able to bring to the table, especially considering the quick turnaround required. In the end, the artistic elements are fun, so it was a win-win for all involved.”


Client: Kickstarter
Production, Post-Production: Carbon VFX
Design Director: Leo Nguyen
Executive Producer: Frank Devlin
Producer: Bree Brackett

About Carbon VFX:

Carbon is a full-service creative studio specializing in visual effects, motion graphics, and design. We are big enough to handle complex projects, yet small enough to provide personalized attention. We have the experience to collaborate at every level, from supervision and workflow to design and finish. Most importantly, we are driven by a desire to create, and to get our name on really great work.


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