This month, we sat down with Five on a Bike’s in-house motion graphics specialist, Jack Edge. Jack has been with the company for 13 months now, leading the animation side of our post-production team. In the interview we talk about all things motion graphics, from the ways that animation betters regular filming, to Jack’s favourite past projects with Five on a Bike.
I am a multi skilled content creator and motion graphics specialist. In the office I am responsible for any animation projects that we have and I also spend a lot of time generally editing video content for other projects. I don’t exclusively work with motion graphics alone though, I often go out to film on shoots with the rest of the team when I’m needed.
Apart from that, the team call me an expert in changing camera lenses, so I guess that’s part of my job role, and I also work hard to be the office’s Millenial to Gen Z translator as I like to keep my toe dipped in Gen Z pop culture.
An average day in the office usually involves just being at my desk and editing any ongoing projects that we have. It seems like quite a boring process to try and explain, but I spend pretty much my entire day working on Adobe Illustrator and AfterEffects. If I get a moment’s break, I tend to trawl the internet looking for nuggets of comedy in the weirdest places. The rest of the team have similar interests and humour to me so it’s nice when one of us breaks through the silence with something funny to share.
I use digital images to create a new dynamic video from scratch or to enhance another video. My work often involves animated text or characters and is mostly made up of 2-dimensional animation. What I do is really useful in video production because it can be a really good way to show off a brand without having to engage a film crew on location.
Motion graphics animation allows you to cover topics that might not come across very well on film – like socially ‘boring’ or ‘wordy’ themes like law. You can get information across so much easier when it is animated dynamically. Motion graphics animation also helps to really visually enhance an existing video and make it more engaging, informative and exciting.
Apart from this, there are the obvious benefits like not having to shoot across a number of locations, the video is timeless and won’t feature out-of-date products or old members of staff, and generally you can cross a lot of creative boundaries with animation that filming will never be able to cross.
Pretty much any brief can work with motion graphics in one way or another. But off of the top of my head, companies that produce software or other products that are difficult to convey nicely in film benefit well from motion graphics. Generally, if you have a piece of advanced software, it’s hard to show off its purpose in traditional filming.
Other good candidates are traditionally ‘boring’ companies, companies with lots of locations that’d be difficult to film, and companies that want to get across lots of information in a short video. I’m thinking of office-based service companies, mainly.
The process starts with a conversation with the client, finding out what they hope to achieve with the video. After that, we draw up a script and a storyboard, which is then sent to the client to approve.
Once approved, asset creating begins in Adobe Illustrator. Then, once the key assets are made, I move over to Adobe After Effects to begin with animating.
Once we are happy with the animation, a first draft will be sent back to the client for feedback. Amendments will then be made and any problems will be fixed before the final video is sent back and approved.
Keep it simple. A video is meant to draw a potential customer in and make them want to learn more about your company. Too many people get bogged down with trying to add too much text, which can make viewers switch off. My advice is to avoid trying to cram as much information as you can into the video. Keep it quick, snappy, and engaging, and cover the most important topics that you want to get across.
The majority of our most popular motion graphics work tends to be animation overlaying film, usually in the form of text. So I really enjoyed the process of our videos with Make UK, where we got to animate the entire story.
I try my best to keep on top of animated trends in pop culture and I find most of my inspiration on Instagram, Dribble and other sites. I also studied Games Animation at university and I think a lot of the things I learned and experienced there still inspire me in my work today.
I enjoy almost everything we do in video production. I like the variety of work – you are always doing something different every day, so it’s hard to get bored. We rarely ever find ourselves doing the same thing. I love working with different people and getting a close insight into loads of different industries. One of the perks of working with corporate businesses is that you could be in an office one day and the next day you’re somewhere completely different, like a biscuit factory or a 3D printing manufacturer!
The people are one of the highlights of working at Five on a Bike. Everyone helps each other out and having a team like this makes working on things much more fun. I think it’s rare to find a job with this much flexibility and trust in our skills. It also helps that the office has such a nice, chilled atmosphere.