During the 1960s two of the most influential teams of visual communicators of that time produced short information films on digital technology for some of the major competing companies in the field. Both La memoria del futuro (Risi 1960) (‘The memory of the future’), produced in 1960 for Olivetti by a team led by Italy’s graphic designer Giovanni Pintori and Academy Award nominated animator Giulio Gianini, and A Computer Glossary, produced eight years later for International Business Machines (IBM) by the celebrated Eames Office, took great advantage of the combined powers of graphics and animation to make the abstract workings of computer processing accessible. Either on its own, or combined with footage from the ‘real world’, animated sequences have proved to be a very effective way to make complex contents easier to grasp for a wide audience, enabling communicators and directors to create very articulated narrative structures. Such structures offer degrees of conceptual versatility unthinkable in the domain of realistic documentary. Through the comparison and analysis of the two Olivetti and IBM short films , this article aims to discuss the elements that make the language of animation an ideal tool to make complex and abstract things more understandable, without losing its ability to engage and entertain its public, therefore opening the way for a very promising season of informative animation.
Animation and informative films: Two early ‘digital’ films / Ceccarelli, Nicolò. - In: ANIMATION PRACTICE, PROCESS & PRODUCTION. - ISSN 2042-7875. - 6:(2018), pp. 137-148. [10.1386/ap188.8.131.52_1]