Flow Motion, Explained

THE RIGHT FLAVOR

In an ice cream shop, you can count on there being vanilla. Chocolate, too. But you don’t want just any chocolate. You want Mackinac Island Fudge.


Chances are there’s only one ice cream shop you know that sells it. And you’ll always go the extra mile to get your favorite flavor – and they’ll go the extra mile to make it taste unbelievable.


At Flow Video, we don’t offer vanilla videos (although vanilla is delicious…). We want to build videos that only we can make; videos fueled by our unique insight, talents, and passion for our craft and your story. Video with a higher purpose.


We have a secret tool for how we do it. Except it’s not a secret anymore. Because we’re telling it to you. Right now.

It’s called Flow Motion.

FLOW MOTION, DEFINED

Flow Motion is the intersection of motion pictures, motion graphics, and motion audio. Our videos ebb and flow between live-action video footage, motion graphic animations, and a combination of the two (where animated elements are incorporated directly into live-footage), with a strong soundtrack tying the experience together. 


This approach is often referred to as “mixed-media,” but the term is imprecise and not always that useful. That’s why we decided to plant our proverbial flag in the ground and give our style a name.


What we landed on was something designed to amaze visually and aurally, while also being flexible and adaptable for the styles and scopes of our diverse set of clients. And it’s rooted in a few basic principles that we apply to every project we do.


THE 3 PRINCIPLES OF FLOW MOTION

A HIGHER PURPOSE

The most important part of any project is discovering a great story that connects audiences to higher meaning. Story is priority one, and comes before any other details, like picking out a camera lens or color palette. We immerse ourselves in our client’s missions and take them on as if they were our own.  Since we’re “outside the bubble,” we can identify key messages and story beats that our client might not realize about themself, but the experience is always highly collaborative so that we’re in sync from start to finish.

THE DANCE

Sometimes on-set live action footage may seem like all a video needs. But could it be even better with a little animation to break down a complex point? Or maybe you think you just need an animation with cartoon characters, but maybe there’s a great reason to also show stylized video footage. We call this interplay between live action footage and motion graphic animation “the dance.” It’s that shuffle between various styles, and combining those shifts into a visual palette that feels cohesive rather than messy. Inviting our clients into the dance is one of the most fun parts of the process for all parties involved, mostly because they often learn new moves they didn’t realize they could dance with.

LET IT SING

What most people forget about video production is that what you see is only half of the equation (or less than half, oftentimes). Backing our visuals is a rich, evocative voiceover, enveloping sound design, and a cinema-like musical score that’s either composed in-house or licensed from incredible sources. The visual languages we use may wildly shift (think an animated character sequence suddenly transitioning into a live-action interview), but a strong audio mix is often the backbone that unites and amplifies a video’s visuals into a compelling singular entity.

FLOW MOTION IN ACTION

CRANBROOK: SONYA CLARK
 

This video “dances” between live-action footage of the director at the museum describing the art as he stands next to the physical piece, and motion graphic animations that describe the artist’s background, technique, and artistic intent.

BAMBOO: THE FUTURE OF WORK
 

This video is largely a live-action piece, but has several moments of animation splashed into key moments to make certain story beats clear to the viewer.

CLASS SIZE MATTERS
 

Half the video features close-up interviews with parents, students, and teachers, while the other half features animations and found-footage that tells the main beats of the story.


FLOW MOTION AND YOU

You don’t have to be a certain kind of client with a certain kind of story for Flow Motion to work. Flow Motion is designed to be flexible. The guiding principles are the same, but the end result is tailored to the individual client’s story. 


If you’re ready to take that journey with us we’re ready for you. And if you’re looking for some inspiration, you’ll find plenty of examples right here.


Discovering how to adapt Flow Motion for a new client is a journey that never gets old. So let’s talk, and we’ll be happy to serve up two hearty scoops of Flow Motion.


-About the author-

Devin Polaski

Devin has directed videos, animations, audio stories, and games for some of the world’s largest brands. His role is to help shape beautiful stories that solve big challenges. When he’s AFK he’s probably watering his plants or playing Tetris.