Daniel Danielsson – Director / Motion Graphic Designer
Who is Daniel Danielsson?
I’m kind of a compulsive maker. I really like to spend most of my time making stuff in a great variety of disciplines. From music, writing and painting to photography, film, and a great many more. But above everything else I’m a Director and Motion Graphics Artist, simply because that’s the best way I know how to make stuff.
How did your career path develop?
Pure chance or maybe fate, if you prefer. Starting with me and a bunch of friends in northern Sweden hanging out, making silly films. We quickly discovered that a bit of visual effects goes a long way towards even sillier shorts. But that was a very slippery slope and soon enough I found myself seduced by the power of 3D for storytelling.
In early 2011 a local agency got word of the short films and signed me on, so I began getting paid for VFX-ing on other people’s crazy projects. Later that year I submitted my showreel to the CG Whiz Competition held by Escape Studios and they flew me out to London for the award ceremony, on my birthday nonetheless, and the judges picked me as the winner, shockingly enough.
Winning landed me on their 12 week VFX-production course, followed by an internship at The Mill in London. After that I found a great studio in the British countryside called “Fall Off The Wall”, where I happily spent a bit over three years before feeling it was time to go at it as a free agent, which brings us up to earlier this year.
What’s your greatest achievement/s so far?
There are a few to choose from… Something as simple as recurring clients is great. That, if anything, means they were pleased with your work and it does well for them. There’s also the CG Whiz 2011 Award, which certainly was a catalyst for my career. However, getting invited twice as a guest lecturer at Umeå Institute of Design should be at the top of my list, not only because it’s a world-renowned university for design, but because I’ve wanted to go there since I was 12 years old, although not for motion design but to learn how to design cars. In the end, I never went to any university, so it’s nice that I get to visit them sometimes.
Any projects you are most proud of and why?
One contender is “Swedish Steel Prize 2014”. I was approached by Confetti, a Swedish agency that handles strategy and communications for an annual event called Swedish Steel Prize for Swedish Steel AB. I was asked to create a motion graphics package for the event with a main title sequence, cutdowns, short stings, name presentations and more, as well as stills to be used for decor and promotion. It might no longer be the snazziest looking project I’ve worked on, but it was my first major solo project that I also got to direct, so it’ll always have a fond place in my heart. Plus they’ve come back for subsequent SSP events since then, so happy people all around!
If we go by my snazziest project, it’s probably a more recent one – “The X”. It’s a brand video for a full service creative agency, visualizing their process from brief and strategy all the way through to production and final delivery. I came up with the concept, directed and created the whole thing with very helpful input from the studio, and then I even went and wrote the music for it. Together with that master video I created a load of stills and loopable videos of the machines for social media, and a master loop of the entire scene. So until I finish my current passion project, “The X” is likely the snazziest!
Share your biggest lessons in life and work
Stay in motion.
It’s kind of my mantra and it reminds me of three things:
– keep doing better motion work and progress professionally.
– once you get going, the power of momentum makes you very hard to stop.
– if times do get tough, it’s a reminder to keep moving forward, even if just a small step at a time.