The American Institute of Graphics Arts (AIGA) ran its first conference on design for film and television, DFTV.001, this past month at the Equitable Center in midtown Manhattan. Directed by Emily Oberman and Bonnie Siegler of Number Seventeen and moderated by Kurt Anderson, the two day conference housed 16 presentations and a number of great interstitial pieces between the speakers. The presenters included Billy Pittard of Pittard Sullivan, Marlene McCarthy of Bureau, Todd Mueller of MTV/SciFi channel, David Carson, the Attik, and Kyle Cooper/Imaginary Forces. A wide range of work was shown from Wieden & Kennedy’s reel of slick, polished Nike and Microsoft commercials to the fun and animated spots for E! Television by Taffetdesign.
This DFTV conference really addressed the fact that designers now have more influence in the way television and films looks, and hopefully in the future, how they may work and interact with viewers. Tom Hajdu of the tomandandy, the Santa Monica music and sound design studio, gave an excellent presentation on how sound and design work together hopefully making the audience realize that design for television/film is and should be largely a collaborative process. Both days of the conference ended with insightful and inspiring points for designers. On the first day, David Carson encouraged print designers and designers without motion graphic experience to not be afraid of trying design for television/film. As stated by several of the presenters, a key point was made cautioning designers not to become slaves to technology and reinforcing that design stems from ideas rather than technical know-how. Kyle Cooper ended the conference with the challenge for designers to create more emotional and thoughtful work, rather than adhering to what he quoted from Jessica Hefland as being “the cult of the scratchy (typeface)”.