Tag Archives: motion graphic

when a different whale meets the pholpo

Our friend James Slater invited us to join his Moby Dick Project: his goal is to create a complete visual rendition of Moby Dick by assigning each sentence of the book to a different visual artist (animators, cartoonists, directors…). He (wisely) chose to start with chapter one, and we got ourselves this excerpt to work on:

I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.

After long nights of thinking, we decided that our script (and the project) deserved a visual treatment from a real artist: we got in touch with painter and illustrator Umberto Torricelli and explained him our script. A few weeks later he came back with stunning black and white inked drawings of strange creatures from the darkness of the deep oceans:


For one of the most impressive illustrations, the vessel in the storm, we cut out all the tentacles, tails, fins and the other strange appendages, then separated the waves and the sky to be able to animate all the elements separately.


You can see the final result here.

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magpies book trailer

To help our friend Sara Lando with the promotion of the (successful!) crowdfunding campaign for her photo-graphic novel ‘Magpies’, we realized a book trailer using some of the most striking images from the book.
Thinking about about the tiny cardboard sets she painstakingly built and photographed for the novel, we thought it would be a great idea to subtly animate those sets and bring them to life.


She provided us with the original files for some key images and we rebuilt the sets in a virtual environment, trying to match lighting and camera effects along the way.


Guess what’s on the page and what’s in our video!

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the role of women in history as seen by martians

Our friends at ZeroViolenzaDonne, a women’s and minorities’ rights group based in Italy, contacted us with the idea for a short video to celebrate their third anniversary.
Their script featured two little aliens arriving on Earth and traveling in time and coming across the role of women in history.


We wanted to give this video a warm and funny tone, so we realized simple geometric illustrations and animated everything with a touch of comedy.
You can check out the result here.
…or make a donation to Zero Violenza Donne here

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the quest for a real hard hob

The Quest for a Real Hard Hob (Hard Hob for friends), is a musical / film / live show project that is being produced by a group of friends here in Berlin.
It’s the story of a robot that wakes up in a future post-apocalyptic Berlin and… well, I’ll leave you to discover the rest by yourself: you can follow the project on their website and on Facebook.

We helped Andy Millington (the show’s creator, director and main promoter) in putting together a promo video for the initial round of production and funding.
The project was very challenging: a mix of live action (the backgrounds and some of the first-person segments were videotaped), photography (for the scene settings) and drawings (the main character has been assembled from a series of sketches).


We discussed with Andy the development from the storyboards and worked together on every further phase: compositing, animation, editing, music sync and the final visual effects.


The final video has been used in live showcase performances and has become the style reference for the development of the complete animated production.

You can check out the final version here.

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how does venice work?


As some of you might know, our company – pholpo – was born in Venice, Italy. The name itself (pronounced ‘folpo’) means ‘octopus’ in the Venetian dialect.
We moved to Berlin soon after, but our hearts (and sometimes our bodies), often go back there, between little alleys and stinky canals, with the unmissable glass of wine.
Wait, stinky canals?
Have you ever wondered what really goes on down there?

Our friend Nicolò Scibilia, a director and filmmaker, was tasked by Insula (the company that manages Venice’s urban infrastructure), to write and film a short documentary about Venice’s inner workings. He (beautifully) filmed everything he could, but many of the things he wanted to show and explain were underwater, inside walls or underground.


pholpo to the rescue! We teamed with him to illustrate and animate a series of infographic segments dedicated to the unfilmable bits of the story.

The result of our efforts, Venice Backstage, has gathered more than 100.000 views since its publication and has been featured in many international websites.


You can see a sample of the animations on our vimeo page, check out the full version here, or learn more about the project on the official website.

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