Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.


Published on .

Intruders? Yes, maybe five, ten years ago, when the industry might have considered a group of animator/designers inappropriate for a directors report. But now, no one's questioning if Psyop belongs. The collective was conceived in an experimental graphics lab at MTV—even there they were outsiders—but since breaking off to form a new company in 2000, Psyop has helped to reshape what we've come to know as commercials storytelling. Over the years, team members Marie Hyon, Kylie Matulick, Eben Mears, Marco Spier and Todd Mueller (seen below, from left) have injected their distinctive visual imprint onto the spots world, evident in notable work for Lugz, Starbucks, Nike, Honda and MTV. Meanwhile, they've evolved into something more warm, fuzzy and character-driven. Look no further than recent spots for Fanta, the beloved Coca-Cola "Happiness Factory" (and its upcoming sequel) for proof that Psyop has truly arrived. (AD)

They say: One of the things that distinguishes us as directors is the way in which we use our graphic design skills to tell stories. We like to think of motion as another element of the overall palette along with color, shape, texture, etc. We like to think of this sense of motion as "flow," the way scenes, action, and camera moves relate to each other over the dimensions of time. Since we started, the projects have become larger, the teams have become larger. Still, no matter what the scale of the job we try and keep as intimate relationship to the work as possible. Having an emotional connection with the work allows our intuition to be more involved, which is when the good stuff happens. Maybe that's one of the big changes that's happened, our awareness of the delicate balance between the emotional attachment to the work and the more pragmatic realities of doing the work. Hopefully we have gotten better at walking that tightrope. We just keep pushing ourselves to do stuff that we haven't done before.
Most Popular
In this article: