Utterly Moving Words

Our final project for this year was the Utterly Moving words project for this assignment out goal was to create a 20second long video of moving words that that had to include sound that we recorded ourselves.

I started out by going through the brief and looking at what research had been suggested and then went on to look at how I might use what I found in my research.

The first thing I looked at was shown to us by Sara it was the Subterranean Homesick Blues video of Bob Dylan dropping words written on different pages as the words are said in the recording this was shown to us as one of the first creations of moving words. We then looked at Leando Senna’s remake where the words had been written with a lot more skill and had been photographed laid down on a table instead of being dropped.

I then also looked at a video called The History of Typography Animated Short by Ben Barret Forrest in this video he used paper cut outs to animate his words and I think these three helped to show how different materials can be used in different ways.


I then looked at the title sequence from Mad Mad Mad Mad World by Saul Bass in this video I noticed he had used the circle as a base of operations in way and had his type animated based around the circle which I thought was a clever way of restricting himself but that then allowed him to think of different interesting ideas. I also like how he made the words up out of dots which allowed him to re assemble the dots into whatever order he wanted allowing him to make some great animations within the title sequence.

After the initial research had been done we talked to Mathew about how we could come up with our words and had a creative writing task sheet that we had to work from to create our words based around a scene from the film Endless Sunshine of a Spotless Mind called Meet me in Montauk. The first task was to write down what we saw was happening and how we think the characters felt as we watched the scene and the second task was to try and write down the dialog as quickly as we could as the scene was playing. After finishing the tasks I then used the words that stood out most for me to create a short story that I later shortened down into a poem.

I decided that I needed to do more research and wanted to look at Michel Gondry I looked at the trailer for the film Is the man who is tall happy? and one thing I liked in particular about it was the question mark walking up stairs made out the word why.


We then had a visit to Godsown junkyard which I thought was very cool even though it didn’t impact my work much it was still good to go and see it.


The next day I started going through the words I had picked out and was thinking about what I wanted to do for my video I had decided on doing a story but I didn’t know what it was going to be about or what the theme would be.I eventually came up with the idea to create a horror story and that I would use the words I chose to create it.


At this point I felt that I hadn’t gathered enough words from the task sheet and decided to use all the words I got from task 1 and task 2 instead of just a few words, I then went about writing a short horror story with the rule that it had to include at least most of the words I had gotten so I cut out each word and whenever I used one I would take it away from the rest to keep track of the ones I had used.


The next day we had a typography workshop in class were we looked at the different layouts we could make on a grid using paragraphs and different sizes of type. I think the workshop was enjoyable but I didn’t really get any good ideas from it but that could have been due to my own creative block. although in hindsight I think if I had payed more attention to what I was doing this exercise could have helped a lot .

After that I thought I would do some more research into title sequences that related more to the theme I was working with so I decided to look at the title sequences of films and tv series that are to do with crime and murder.

The first I looked at was true detectives this was a series I had watched before and thought it related well to my short story but unfortunately it didn’t have much in terms of typography and animated type it was more image based. I then looked at the title sequence for seven because it had been recommended by Kieran and I think it was very creepy and I liked it a lot I especially like the words looking like the were scratched into a wall and that that fluorescent had been used to create the letters for the title.

This lead to me having the idea to go out and collect textures in the hopes that I could use some to build words from and I think the mistake that I made with that was going out in the day because I think if I went out at night the textures would have had the on edge feeling that I wanted to evoke and i’m quite disappointed in myself for not using the textures as much as I thought I would.

These are some pots I found in my kitchen I liked how the bottom had been burnt and the dirt on them was elevated off the surface (these aren’t mine I wash my stuff I promise)

These images consist of another pot in my kitchen that had alot of mold growing in it and I thought it might be good to have an animation of the mold growing to build the words. I also got pictures of of an oven tray that had been scratched and thought it resembled the text from the title sequence for Seven. I then fund a post box that had been weathered away and the paint was chipping off it that I thought was good.

I started looking at some tree bark aswell and how it was cracked and almost resembled an open wound. Then I found a door that had the paint pealing away and it reminded me of the word split so thought it could come in use.

I also found a crack in a wall with some spider webs in it that I thought could be a good way of building up letters and words.

At this point I thought that my short story was far to long for this brief and would take far to long to animate all of it so I tok out the words from the story that I thought would work well with transitions and used them to create a poem. I then asked Mathew how I could improve it and he told me to try and take out any unnecessary parts so that it wouldn’t be to long.


After that I started making some inital designs for how the animation could work and what different transitions I could create. My first idea was to have the mold effect build up the words but I had no idea how I could make this work due to my lack of knowledge in after effects. After I thought to have the sillhouette of someones neck opening up and the blood could spray out to create the words but this didn’t seem like a very good idea so that lead to the idea of having the words splitting through one another like knives but again I couldn’t see a way of making it work.



So I had thought about what transitions I could use and now I had to try and see hwo they could work in different ways so I asked Kieran what he thought I should do and he said it would be a good idea to look at some type that others had made to see how my effects could work in other ways.

So I went on http://www.dafont.com and collected a few fonts people had made that I thought related to what I was trying to achieve I found the fonts Walk This Way, Blinded By Desire and Dirty Old Town by Junkohanhero I like d the eroded look of Walk This Way and I thought that Blinded By Desire had the look of mold growing over that I thought about making I also like Dirty Old Town because of the way it looks cut up and sliced though.

I also look at a font called Plane Crash by Wondermaker that had a nice scratched and damaged effect there was also one called Crackedvetica that reminded me of the pain chipping away in the textures I found.

Soul Mission by Martin J also reminded me of droplets landing on a surface and I thought something like this would go well with the word blood.

After doing this I felt a bit more confident in my ideas and decided to make some more refined story boards. For the origina; idea I wanted mold to grow from the outer screen to the centre and the words would be made from negative spacethe the mold would shrink to the centre till it was gone and the words “cut my throat” would also appear in negative space when the blood effect dripped down the screen.


I then wanted the camera to move as if it was no looking at the ground and to see drops of blood creating the words “blood red wine” this would then fill the screen and begin to crack and the cracks would chip away creating the next phrase. I wanted the camera to then zoom into the cracks and see the chips had fallen in creating new letters.IMG_4025

I then wanted the the words to crack further and become dust that would be partially blown away to reveal new words and that would then be blown away leaving the screen blank. Then the phrase “Swung to the ground” would enter with the word swung swinging in and “to the” could enter from either side with ground coming up from beneath. After that Boarded Floors Found would enter from each side and I wanted it to resemble boards slotting into place.


I thought it would be good if “they came from beneath” came from the bottom of the screen and puched the boarded floors up and out of the screen and that then the phrase broke all my teeth could enter from above and below as if to resemble a closing mouth.

I then wanted the transition of a cloud or of smoke the say let out a breath and for it to drift up.


That idea however was to complicated and I didn’t think I would be able to create it in after effects so I decided to simplify my idea to make it easier for me to create it. So I had the idea to pixelate the mold so that it would be more basic and then the animation could be basic aswell I also thought to have the blood dripping effect as bold lines with circular tips to and for the drops to be circles. This idea took alot away from the feeling I was trying to get across in the video.

At this point I thought the best thing to do would be to go into after effects and try to create it so I started to put it together whilst looking up tutorials at times when I got stuck.

Here is the animation I put together in after effects as a first attempt that I showed at the crit day one of the cirtics I got on it was that it didn’t read like a poem and that it looked to much like someone testing out different tutorials.

So after the crit I decided to re assemble the text to make the layout more like an actual poem by making into into a centre alligned paragraph with each like appearing at a time I then recorded my sound by walking down my road at 3 am when it is most quiet and also opened the gate outside my building that has a lous creaking sound that I think helped the video become more on the creepy side.



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