Animated Short Made Entirely With Logos Wins Oscar
This is not really typography-related, but definitely close enough. Yesterday night Logorama won the Oscar for “Best Animated Short”. In this 17 minute CGI short film made entirely with animated trademarks and brand names, Michelin Man cops pursue a criminal Ronald McDonald. It was written and directed by François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy, and Ludovic Houplain of French graphics and animation studio H5. Unzipped readers may remember the name from the animated typography video for The Child by Alex Gopher, directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet for H5. Other well-known music videos by H5 include Röyksopp‘s Remind Me (which won the MTV Europe Award for Best Video in 2002), Massive Attack‘s Special Cases, and Goldfrapp‘s Twist.
With Logorama the trio sign their first short film, which took them about six years to complete. This is due to the sheer number of logos needed to build their version of Los Angeles – the film-makers used at least two thousand different ones. At they were writing the movie, they were simultaneously casting it. Not only the characters, but also the environment, cars, animals, buildings, … For every single item in the video they had to browse countless existing logotypes, which they catalogued by shape and subject. They assembled folders for trees, mountains, people, and every time a new object was built they browsed this catalogue. Just gathering all those logos took them a year and a half. The only fictitious logo is for Slurm, from Matt Groening’s other animated series Futurama. In his acceptance speech producer Nicolas Schmerkin jokingly thanked the 3,000 non-official sponsors that appear in the film.
Ronald McDonald as the bad guy is inspired by Jack Nicholson’s Joker and all those other bad clowns from movies, and the two Michelin Men are archetypical overweight cops. Though the story is classic blockbuster Hollywood fare, the resulting short film is humorous and very accessible. When watching it you won’t be able to help yourself trying to identify the countless logos that populate Logorama. Happy hunting.
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