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Behind the Scenes of Play: How (and Why) Ordinary Folk is Giving Back to the MoGraph Community

Greg Stewart, Ordinary Folk

School of Motion Manifesto Creators Ordinary Folk on Play, an Anything-but-Ordinary Take on Project File Sharing

Familiar with the term reverse engineering? Well, it's time to grab your hard hat...

Ordinary Folk has done it again. With Play, the creative crew behind our brand manifesto video is offering snippets and project files(!) from their past works and spare-time experiments(!) "as a means of giving back to the wonderful motion design community" that inspires the incredible Jorge R. Canedo E. and team.


Below, Ordinary Folk art director and animator Greg Stewart explains how and why Play came to fruition.


None of us at Ordinary Folk would be where we are today without the things we’ve learned from people who were willing to share their hard-earned knowledge with the world.

Whether it was VideoCopilot, Mt. Mograph, Dan Ebberts, School of Motion or one of the many other wonderful individuals/organizations, this industry has always been full of givers we’ve all benefitted from — and that’s something we love about our industry.

Recently, we had the privilege of working once again with one of our favorite clients, The Bible Project, on a piece about generosity in the Bible, and how that can inform our mindset when it comes to giving and receiving.

At the core of the Generosity piece is the idea that anything we have  — whether material possessions or expertise, whether given to us freely or gained through practice and hard work — is meant to benefit everybody we cross paths with, regardless of beliefs or background, regardless of skill level, regardless even of whether or not they work for a 'competing' studio.

In short: it is more blessed to give than to receive.

While working on Generosity, we began talking internally about what it might look like, as a team, to live out the very message we were working to communicate.

As we reflected together on our own journeys, creative and otherwise, we realized that, in so many ways, we'd been blessed by others. In our everyday work, many of the techniques we use were learned from or built upon things other people in the industry were willing to share.

What would it look like for us to follow in that example?

And so, we’re excited to share Play, a page on our site where, as we are able, we’ll be sharing little rigs and snippets of projects (like the SOM Manifesto video) as a means of giving back to the awesome motion design community that we’re so grateful to be a part of, and have been so inspired by.

While there are some restrictions around what can and can’t be done with these files, we hope you’ll take whatever you might learn from Play and make things that push us all to get better — and teach us how you made those things, too.

If you happen to post anything based on Play materials, please mention us (@ordinaryfolkco) and use the #ordinaryplay hashtag. This way, we can be inspired by what you’ve made, and share it with the world...

We’re excited to see what you make!


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