Expression Through Animation: Q&A with Moonbow Studio Co-Founder Tommy Levi Morenos
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
Moonbow Studio, an international animation studio based in Lisbon, Portugal, helps companies express their message through their dynamic and vibrant animation style. With roots in film and TV, the studio's vision is to bring high quality animation and a cinematic edge to the business world.
Brand Storytelling caught up withTommy Levi Morenos, Co-Founder of Moonbow, to discuss how the studio uses animation to captivate an audience and foster emotion through entertainment:
When and why did you and Co-Founder Lorenzo Nicolini found Moonbow?
We founded Moonbow Studio in early 2021 out of a vision to bring entertainment-level animation to businesses. As a freelancer I’d just taken part in several projects for major franchises, and wanting to maintain my creative momentum I resolved to explode through that freelancer ceiling.
You mentioned that Moonbow has its roots in film and TV - can you elaborate on that?
I worked at a major live-action production company in London as well as a major TV animation studio in North America. My creative compass has always pointed towards cinema as the most powerful format and mood, and it heavily informs our work.
The cinematic language consists of pushing and pulling the script, camera, performances and edit, weaving them together to communicate an experience. It’s a fantastically multidisciplinary art form which affords so many possibilities for wit and creative expression.
How do you initiate the process of creating animation with and for a brand? What is important to get right at that starting point?
We question our client and do extensive research into the product or service, noting its USPs, example videos from competitors, and our client’s goals.
Once all the variables are defined, we brainstorm for that core idea which hones the message down to a simple story hook. We always strive to make every element of our work part of a whole which cannot be removed or else risk the integrity of the entire piece. It’s important that nothing is superfluous and that it’s woven together elegantly, communicating our message on a gut level rather than intellectual. It’s all built around that hook.
What pain points do you run into when working to meet a brand’s vision? What do you do to overcome those obstacles?
The starting line of the race is that hook, and that’s what needs to be agreed upon first and foremost. Once we arrive there, the rest of production is usually smooth sailing, though it sometimes requires some push and pull to realize that solid foundation. If a client wants to retroactively change things further down the line however this can jeopardize the power of a simple, focused idea and things can get muddled very fast. It’s important to be able to improvise in these situations and be prepared to “kill your darlings” if necessary to keep the thrust of the story as focused as possible.
Can you provide a recent example of the kind of work you’re proud to do with brands?
United Way was a simple, strong idea provided by a client and embellished upon to expound quite a rich and complex message in a simple and relatable way.
What advice might you offer brands looking to implement animation in their brand-funded entertainment and content endeavors?
As the importance of video continues to grow in content marketing audiences are getting more and more discerning about the quality of your content. Don’t be afraid to keep blurring that line between advertising and entertainment!
What’s next for Moonbow? Where can people check out additional work and connect with you?
About Tommy Levi Morenos
I'm a UK national currently based in Lisbon, Portugal, and I've done animation work on three continents. I co-founded Moonbow Studio, a boutique production studio focused on high-quality animation.
I've been making animated films since age 12 and have worked on a myriad of projects including TV shows, commercials, video games, and web content. My freelance career peaked with TV shows and movies for major franchises from the likes of Amazon, Dreamworks, and Disney.