Quick, what was the single most outstanding piece of broadcast design from 2006? My vote goes to this exercise in cool grace directed by Psyop partners Marie Hyon and Marco Spier. It graced the cover of Stash 20 in May of that year and would feel right at home on the cover again today.

Here’s the copy that ran with MTV HD “CROW” ID in Stash 20:

To launch their new HD network – featuring exclusively hi-def and 5.1 surround sound programming – MTV gave Psyop creative freedom to design six :15 station IDs. Psyop said no. What they proposed instead was one 90-second film which could be broken into six discreet pieces.

Psyop EP Justin Booth-Clibborn says the studio’s solution “can best be described as a ‘visual haiku’, a spot that is all the more detailed and effective because of its seeming minimalism.”

Co-directors Hyon and Spier, knowing the work would never be compromised for standard definition, were eager to push the medium where it had never gone. “That’s how this spot ended up with so many thin, high-contrast lines that would buzz like crazy on regular television,” asserts Spier.

That increased resolution also proved to be the biggest challenge: “When working with HD, every frame becomes insanely big,” explains Hyon. “And more than that, HD won’t let you hide little errors the way you can in NTSC. With this level of detail, it has got to be flawless.”

Producer: Raffaela Saccone
Sr design director: Rodger Belknap
VP on on-air design: Romy Mann

For Psyop
EP: Justin Booth-Clibborn
Producer: Lucia Grillo
Flame: Eben Mears
Lead 3D: Pakorn Bupphavesa
3D: Laurent Barthelemy, Alvin Bae, Todd Akita, Kevin Estey, Damon Ciarelli, Dave Barosin ,
Jason Goodman, Lutz Vogel, Mate Steinforth, Ajit Menon
2D/rotoscope: Ella Boliver, J Bush, BeeJin Tan
Jr Flame: Jaime Aguirre
Editor: Brett Goldberg

For Q Department
Producer: Julie Hurwitz
Composer: Drazen Bosnjak

XSI, Maya, Flame, Photoshop

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