We sat down with Telly Award Winner, Brett Morris, Creative Director and founding partner of the motion design studio – Ranger & Fox. Self-taught in motion design after formal studies in film, Brett honed his craft of motion design while working across film, broadcast and commercial work in his home of Sydney for various production houses and broadcasters. Now based in Los Angeles, Brett partnered with Steve Panicara to create their dream studio, specializing in discovery, strategy and visual communication.
What is the origin story of Ranger & Fox?
Steve Panicara and I started the business at the beginning of 2017, however the origin of our relationship goes back a few more years than that. I’m originally from Sydney, Australia and in 2011 design studio Capacity tapped me to join their team in Los Angeles, which was where Steve and I first met. Over the next five years at Capacity we pushed each other creatively and technically while directing and leading the team at the studio. We had aspirations to build something of our own and starting a business together was a natural step in the creative partnership we had forged.
What technical advancements over the past decade have impacted the motion design industry?
As we are a 3D studio and our pipeline has dramatically changed with the introduction of GPU accelerated graphics cards and third-party GPU renderers. Initially, we adopted Octane which was essentially the first production GPU ray tracing renderer, it allowed us to increase our production value by having near real-time feedback in look development and dramatically reduced the time spent rendering shots through the pipeline. Over the years since the introduction of GPU rendering new competitors have entered the space, each one with their own outlook and perspective on how they approach rendering and we’ve ended up using RedShift as our go-to renderer for the integration and memory management we benefit from.
You won a Telly Award for your playful Emoji Manifesto piece. How did this project come about?
We’ve entered into a very competitive market and since we’re a young studio, we don’t have a huge body a work to show under the Ranger & Fox banner. Both Steve and I have extensive experience across a pretty wide range of projects and clients yet our biggest challenge in starting the company has been to be able to show the world what we’re capable of. Our solution is simply creating the type of work we want to be doing. The emoji project embodies a lot of the qualities we want to be known for, a concept that leans on a great design, with considered typography and technically challenging 3D that all boils down into something visually interesting that makes you smile. We’ve always got a handful of ideas on the boilerplate and as soon as we have a gap in our schedule, we focus all of our energy into an internal project like the Emoji Manifesto. Since the project released we’ve followed that up with an ode to Los Angeles’ traffic issues called ‘Carmageddon’, which we hope to enter into the Telly’s next year.
What’s coming up for you over and Ranger & Fox in 2018-2019?
2018 has already been a really great year for us. Along with snagging a handful of Telly’s, we’ve also added some really great clients onto our roster including the UFC, HP, and Paramount Pictures. We’re currently deep into a large project with a director we absolutely adore and hope to have the piece live in the wild in the fall. As we look beyond, we’d like to continue building our client roster, present more services and capabilities through new work and keep growing the studio with new personnel and an expanded pipeline.