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Nicolas Ménard directs code-powered TV spot ‘Algorithms’

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London-based Canadian animator and Nexus Studios director Nicolas Ménard (Loop Ring Chop Drink, Wednesday With Goddard) has made use of some particularly inventive creative processes in a new spot for online mortgage broker Habito.

In collaboration with Who Wot Why, the piece titled Algorithms is “a metaphorical visualization of the brand’s powerful mortgage matching algorithm”, presenting a series of chaotic graphic images that, through intuitive sorting algorithms, are put into a more visually pleasing order. Debuting this week on ITV Meridian, the piece has been conceived to highlight Habito’s own merging of human expertise and modern technology in their work.

To generate the visuals, Nicolas and the Nexus Studios team (led by compositor Elliott Kajdan with illustrations by Jack Cunningham and coding by Marcin Ignac and Nick Nikolov) conceived and designed a number of instruction-based web apps that allowed them to experiment with the way in which the reorganisation of the graphics was arranged. With a focus on colour, shape and composition, the end result sees a sequence of seemingly abstract graphical pieces made up of individual, unorganised elements recombine in a simpler, more orderly fashion.

Another primary concern for the success of the visual side was Nicolas’s approach to sound, bringing on German sound designer David Kamp to adopt a comparable approach to the development of how the assortment of random sounds could make similar use of an algorithmical process in their organisation. Also on board for the more distinctly musical elements at the end of the soundtrack was Habito founder Daniel Hegarty, also a seasoned composer.

This project evokes Nicolas’s well-known graphical approach to most of his visual work, as well as his 2010 book Colorimetry, “a book at the crossroads between graphic design and visual arts”.

When Nexus Studios showed me the script by Who Wot Why for Habito, I was excited at the idea of jumping back into that world. It was a rare and unique opportunity to make a film using code, and to craft our very own, playful sorting algorithms.

-Nicolas Ménard

See more of Nicolas’s work at nicolasmenard.com
Find Nexus online at nexusstudios.com

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