We are excited to have Doug Appleton, the Chief Creative Director at Perception, and an Emmy award nominee with us. He has shown his exceptional skills as the lead animator for the opening sequences of blockbuster movies like Avengers Age of Ultron and Black Panther Wakanda Forever. Doug is an expert in motion graphics design, user experience, and visual effects with over 13 years of experience in the field.
Discussion points -
Can you guide us on your amazing journey, and where it started? And how did you get where you are right now? 1:22
What made you decide that this is the career path you wanted to take?
Let's talk about your Emmy nomination. How did that come to be? When did you learn that you were nominated in that category? How did it feel? 7:56
Which one of those dissecting websites is your favorite or which channel do you follow? 13:47
Which project do you think that you worked on, which was way too exciting that you couldn't keep calm? 13:47
Rapid Fire 20:56
Do you think that the tech that you have designed there is inside of the universe of Marvel? When you design those sorts of UIs, what kind of briefs do you guys get? 18:05
How do you utilize AI tools and incorporate augmented reality (AR) in sequence programming for Marvel's visual effects to enhance the overall visual storytelling in their cinematic universe? How are you connecting the dots? 27:39
How do you make sure that the narrative remains consistent about tech throughout the movie? 32:21
How does one think about sci-fi? 34:59
How did the time-travel visualization in Avengers come to be? Can you share that story? 36:21
Any advice that you would like to give to people who are starting out and want to make a name in this domain? 41:36
Originally, I wanted to make cartoons, I grew up watching 90s Nickelodeon. And that to me was the pinnacle of what I wanted to do.
So the nomination was for our title sequence for Wanda Vision. And I think that category is an outstanding main title design. This was a personal one for me, because Wanda Vision was kind of our first project that we had done during the pandemic, beginning to end pitched, finalized, and worked on everything remotely at home.
Every project has to just be the next project, right? Every project can't be the biggest thing we've ever done in the world, or else that pressure is just going to crush you.
Spider-man is my favorite superhero in the world. He's the greatest no questions asked. We had the opportunity in Captain America Civil War to design a Spider-Man spider signal at the end of the movie. It's like a five-second shot. In the grand scheme of this like two and a half hour movie, it's like a nothing shot. But to me, that was one of the most exciting things in the world.
The reason why, these studios come to us is that we have that real-world experience building, and designing this technology that works and means something.
I think AR definitely has the potential to change the way we interact with the world. It could go positive, it could go negative, I think it depends on how people utilize it.
It's a really cool feeling to know that some of the stuff that we're doing can make its way into the real world.
In filmmaking, it's about getting the story across as quickly as possible to the audience.
We are always trying to see how the technology that we design is not just a pretty thing to look at but influences the story and helps forward the narrative in some way.
What you see in the final movie, we had done really rough tests and diagrams, essentially napkin sketches of this stuff. And that gets handed off to digital domain guys who put it into the beautiful look you see in the film.
The people that we look for, bring that extra layer to their designs.
Only show the work that you want to be doing. If you don't want to do something, then, it might hurt to put all that experience to the side. But focus on building a portfolio of work that you want to be do