CONTENTS

 
   about
   MICHAEL BETANCOURT NEWS
   movies: AESTHETICS
   movies: NEWS & REVIEWS
   movies: SHOWS & SCREENINGS
   random art notes
   random how-tos
   research: AVANT-GARDE MOVIES
   research: MOTION GRAPHICS
   research: VISUAL MUSIC
   theory: CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS
   theory: DIGITAL CAPITALISM
   theory: GLITCH & POSTDIGITAL
   theory: working notes

 

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SEARCH ARCHIVES

archives begin in 1996

  

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 16, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

My article That Uncanny Moment: Jack Coles Design of the Kolchak: The Night Stalker Title Sequence is concerned with how it creates an uncanny effect for the audience.






 
The Horror of Optical Illusions

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 22, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

Bright Lights Film Journal no 82 has my new article: The Horror of Origins in Ron Honthaner's The House on Skull Mountain examines the emergent form of a death's head that appears graphically on screen in a way that is both inherently a part of the action (emergent from the composition itself) and a presentation of what is not (cannot be) shown on screen: Lorena's thoughts her fear, signified by the voodoo drums, becoming manifest as the superimposed skull.






 
on Lardani's Titles

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 23, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

My new article discussing the titles for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is online today at Bright Lights Film Journal.

The glitch and other details of his first on-screen credit distinguish Lardani's title card from the rest of the sequence in a very dramatic way unlike the other titles, which are immediately obvious as credits, it is possible to miss his credit entirely, a strange distinction to choose given his role and, according to his son, complete freedom in creating the design. It is almost as if his title card is hidden in plain sight.






 
The Origins of Motion Graphics

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 6, 2012 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

​Motion graphics was the last major aesthetic innovation of the nineteenth century to fully emerge during the twentieth. Converging in the final decades of the twentieth century, broadcast design, mobile graphics, the absolute film, titles, or even simply animation have all been used to identify what would become motion graphics. Any history of the field requires a consideration of how its aesthetics and the varied uses common to contemporary motion graphics first emerged from experiments with kinetic abstraction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The nexus of abstract films synchronized geometries with live action outside the framework of narrative, the conventions of synchronized sound and image, and finally the development of kinetic typography shows that motion graphics are more than animated graphic designs.




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Saul Bass Animating Modernist Design

story © Michael Betancourt | published August 28, 2011 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print



research: MOTION GRAPHICS

Saul Bass (1920 1996) was the first of the new title designers to emerge in the 1950s, setting the precedent for those who followed. He moved to Hollywood in 1946 after spending time in New York as a student working and learning graphic design. Once in Hollywood, he worked as a graphic designer, title designer, visual consultant, and director of both short films and one feature, reflecting the basic paradigm shifts underway in the 1950s and continuing through the 1970s as Hollywood production abandoned the industrial model of the studio system. He would ultimately produce fifty-nine title sequences between 1954 and 1996, revealing the influence of Modernist graphic design in his engagement with both static and motion elements on screen.




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