I recently had the honor of interviewing Carlos Florez and I’m really excited to share it with you. Carlos is an amazing freelance motion designer/art director and has worked on many high level pieces, including a lot of work for MTV. You can see his reel and more of his work at carlosflorez.com.
1. Did you go to school for motion graphics?
I studied Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. My college did not have a Motion Graphic Design Curriculum at the time. Motion graphics is still a new profession. So I added more classes concentrating in Interactive Media, Video and also Animation. A friend visiting college showed me his motion graphics that looked really cool and told me about after effects, He told me that 99% of the commercials on TV are done with that program. My eyes lit up. As soon as I found out about Motion Graphics my enthusiasm for print design fully shifted to motion graphic design and animation as it is closer to telling stories, which is something I always had a huge admiration for after watching Steven Spielberg movies like E.T and Jurassic Park, etc. So after my friend introduced me to motion graphics I did an experimental short film and my teachers loved it. In classes where I would otherwise just work on designing a logo or static brochure, my teachers let me do motion graphic pieces involving Animation, Graphic Design and Video all together. I have to say, Graphic Design taught me something huge: concept/Idea is KING. Like in a feature film, the most important thing is the story. If you can tell a story in one frame, that’s a great success and telling a story with multiple frames in motion is even more rewarding.
What did you study at school?
I majored in Graphic Design with a concentrations in Animation, Video, Photography and Interactive Media.
How did you get into your first job in the industry?
MTV New York offered me a full time job before I have graduated, after 3 years of college I found out I had enough credits to graduate. Off I went driving a huge U-Haul truck to New York City. The truck was so big I could barely see the windshield. All of my internships helped me build my portfolio that MTV New York liked. One of the internships was at MTV Latin America in Miami, FL, which led to a few freelance jobs for mun2, and MTV during college. Internships were a great way to earn portfolio pieces.
Tell me a bit about where you work. Are you at a studio? Freelance?
I freelance for some for the best studios in the Los Angeles area. I am now dedicating time to direct my own projects.
How long have you been in the industry?
A little over eight years.
What software do you use?
After Effects, Maya, C4D, Mocha, Final Cut pro, Premiere, Adobe Creative Suite.
How would you describe your style?
Magical realism. Everything for me started with drawing and painting since I was a kid. I grew to discover I could use Photoshop and Illustrator to create art using the computer as my brush and this was an amazing revelation. My influences were fine arts and movies. I have always been a big admirer of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Steven Spielberg. Then I found out about the work of directors: Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Chris Cunningham and I was blown away. I came to the conclusion that directing is the best job for me. Since then I’ve directed several projects, even while freelancing doing motion graphics for a variety of companies. Directing my own projects is at the forefront of my work, as I want to get signed as a director by a reputable production company like Anonymous Content.
Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?
Work on personal projects, show your skills and only do it if your heart is in it.
Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?
It’s not finished until its finished.
Is there a fantastic plug in, or tool that you have found recently that you would recommend?
I like the Reeper X Rope Generator plugin by Codeworkers you posted on your site on May 6th:
What are some websites you visit every day for inspiration or training?
What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?
If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?
Directing. No doubt about it. I constantly wear different hats as a writer, producer, motion graphic designer, editor, colorist, etc., but I’m a happy man when I’m on set directing actors, getting the shots I need to tell a story. I’m constantly looking for talented interns, and professional artists who would like to collaborate to make great work for the reel, there’s no money on personal projects but there’s more creativity. If you are a 3d artists, compositor, rotoscoping, storyboard artists looking to enhance your reel on original creative pieces and you have the time and the passion to put your best on a project, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Carlos for taking the time to share some tips and experience with us. Please go to carlosflorez.com and check out his reel. Be inspired!