Chris Valentino, MotiveMotive describes itself as “a small shop with big intentions.” Bringing together expertise in branding, marketing, and motion design, the New York-based creative studio took honors from Studio’s Film Fest for two recent promos that were entered in its Top Spots Festival — one promoting Hitchcock movies for Chiller, another showcasing Battles BC for History Channel. With an expansion currently under way, the New York City-based creative studio will have room for ever bigger ideas. We shot Five Questions at Managing Director Chris Valentino.

Q: What are you working on today?
A: The “Space-Time Continuum.” We are expanding our team and, as a result, our space. We are in the midst of scheduling demolition and build out, as well as getting a host of new hardware, software and furniture in. Of course the work hasn’t given us much free time. We are also designing and animating several show graphic packages including Discovery’s Surviving the Cut, and we recently wrapped Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags and Donuts for Comedy Central. Fun times.

Q: What’s the best tool or innovation that you’ve started employing in the last year?
A: That is a tough one. No single tool has had a standout impact. We have worked with the [Canon] 7D on spots, toyed with the iPad to see what creative options we can offer our clients, and put both Adobe’s Media Encoder and Soundbooth “speech to text” to exhaustive use. Still nothing beats the tried-and-true Internet as a resource for inspiration, information and escapism. It is the reigning champ in our toolset year after year.

Q: What’s the project — film, TV show, commercial, or music video — that most impressed you in the last year? And why?
A: My favorite commercial of the year has to be the DirecTV spot “Opulence, I has it.” I have replayed it a hundred times on my DVR just to spot the tiny details. The set design is brilliant and abundant. The giraffe kills me and I love the poker-playing dogs, particularly the dog who tosses his chips in. It’s one of those “Man, I wish I did that!” spots.

Q: What’s your favorite project that you worked on in the past year? And why?
A: We have done so many fun projects this past year, but for me, personally, it was the wellness campaign “Fit In Your Skin” hosted by Jackie Warner ( We came in on the ground floor and worked on every aspect of the program, from development to deployment, including the copy, live action, editorial, sound design, DVD, web site, still shoot, music and so on. It was an intense four months of work in which the team put every effort into exceeding the expectations of our clients. Also, Jackie gave me a few pointers that have been pretty helpful, too.

Q: Who are the top four artists on your iPod?
A: Depending on my mood (or what I am working on), I am listening to Jack Johnson, Louis Prima, Gustavo Santaolalla or a heavy mix of artists. When I’m writing, it’s helpful to have a strong soundtrack or score. Of course, if it’s late November through January, Bing Crosby is at the top of the list!

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