Idea Blog

PICK OF THE WEEK: The Airport of the Future (Animated Video)

Blake Harris 09.15.2016

What will the airport of the future look like? What will it feel like? And where, twenty years from now, will even we be going? The Vancouver Airport Authority sought to answer these questions with a gorgeous 30-second animated video that gives us a glimpse into what might be…

One of the best things about this animated video is that it’s not just a vision of what could be; it’s actually a catalyst to try and shape what will be. The call to action at the end of the video directs viewers to a campaign website, YVR 2037, where you can share your input and learn about public meetings on the future of Vancouver International Airport.

This animated video, produced by Wonderlust, was created in conjunction with world-renowned futurist Nikolas Badminton. Based out of Vancouver, Badminton appears regularly on the BBC, CBC and Global News, and writes for publications like the Huffington Post, Forbes and Business.com. For this project, Badminton developed a series of “design fiction” stories, in which he used fictional and narrative scenarios to provide glimpses into the future of YVR.

Here’s the video…

3 Things We Loved About This Animated Video

1. Entry Point (And The Way In Which We Flash Forward)

Thinking about the future can be jarring. Seeing it? Even more so. Which presents a challenge for the opening of this video: how to flash us forward to a place that is inherently unfamiliar, yet not lose us along the way? The answer: cleverly.

Let’s take a closer look at the opening images:

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It’s a decidedly futuristic-looking introduction to the story. But, if you think about it, the airport itself (as depicted from this vantage point) is not what looks futuristic. In fact, it looks just as familiar as ever; giving us all an accessible touchstone into this world of tomorrow.

Following this up, the next perspective takes a similar route:

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Although this is a video about the future, the perspective above taps into a collective sense of nostalgia. The way in which we as kids (and sometimes still as adults!) looked out at that airport window and saw a mix of magic, adventure and possibility.

By cleverly opening with these two scenes, the viewer feels is poised for the impact of unfamiliar that comes directly after…

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2. Color Palette

The majority of futuristic depictions we see (i.e. in movies, television shows, comics) tend to veer towards dystopias. After all, these are pieces of entertainment and such a perspective gives us a built-in conflict. As such, it was important that this animated video differentiate itself from the types of futuristic depictions were are accustomed to experiencing. And one way this is accomplished is through the color palette.

From start to finish, this animated video brims with bright colors that seem to somehow capture the comfortable shine of many smartphone interfaces.

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Literally and implicitly there’s a holographic feel to what we see; soft, friendly and inviting.

Additionally, the animated video also includes a few moments where a sliver of sunlight brightens the screen before our very eyes. Like this:

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And here as well:

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Small moments they are, but they imbue an added sense of optimism to the composition and colors on screen.

3. Click. Watch. Stop. Play Again.

Because this video is so unexpectedly accessible, the viewer is likely to miss a lot of nuances upon initial viewing. Yet, at the same time, the viewer is likely to pick up enough of the signs-of-the-future easter eggs (i.e. signs, robots) to suspect there is more that he or she must have missed. All of which makes this video ripe for re-watch.

(And it also helps that the video’s optimistic spirit makes it joyous to experience…)

Questions? Comments? Contact IdeaBlog@idearocketanimation.com

Blake Harris

Blake Harris

Blake Harris is the author of "Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation."
Blake Harris

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