Linus Kraemer Interview - Visually Capturing Feelings

Meet Linus Kraemer, a London based motion designer. Linus’ carefully crafted design-led animation, and motion design has been a prominent figure in the creative and music scenes. We had a chat with Linus about his start in motion design, working with Disclosure, MTV, visually capturing feelings and much more!

Futuremag Music: Hey Linus, thanks for chatting with us! How's the English summer treating you?

Linus: It’s still going, we’ve had a super hot summer this year! I've recently got into freelancing and it's a joy to get the occasional job in an air conditioned office!

Futuremag Music: Can you talk me through how you moved in motion design? What advice can you give an aspiring designer?

Linus: After lots of interning as a graphic designer I got my first full time job at Peter Anderson Studio. I was hired as a designer with a tiny bit of knowledge in After Effects and by the time I’d left I was a core member of the motion team, and wasn’t doing much graphic design anymore! I was lucky enough to learn AE on the job. Learning software with someone sitting next to you is so much quicker than on your own or even with tutorials. The time I spent interning at Peter Anderson Studio was also valuable because it allowed me to pick up the basics - by the time I was actually hired I was good enough to see projects through on my own. 

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Futuremag Music: How does motion design and music meld in your work? What goes into designing visuals for a client like Disclosure or MTV?

Linus: I’ve always loved putting visuals to music in a live setting. I’ve mostly done this for dance music so it’s often about creating seamless loops that work at the same BPM as the music.

For some of the artists I’ve worked with there’s just a DJ and some decks on a huge stage in front of a massive crowd. There isn’t a lot to look at so the visuals (sometimes on enormous screens!) become really important and create a whole new level of engagement for a performance. Normally LED screens are used, they’re so powerful these days that they light up the whole space - you can really affect the atmosphere simply with the brightness and colour choices.

There isn’t much place for subtlety like you might have with animation for TV or Film. People aren’t that focused on the screens so it’s great when things are bold and obvious. I learnt that a single big idea for a song works really well and it’s best to focus on the big changes in the track, rather than little developments and transitions throughout.

Futuremag Music: What has been your favourite project to work on so far? Why is it your favourite? What went into the production and design? 

Working on the MTV Movie & TV Awards in LA with Studio Moross was incredible. The main purpose of the visuals was to be behind presenters while they were walking out and announcing awards. There were screens and LED strips everywhere! Even on the inside of the tunnel where the presenters walked in. For the week running up to the show we worked in the venue on tables set up in the audience seating. This allowed us to fine tune the visuals. Everyday at some point our changes were to “make it even slower”. For ambient looks on such big screens the smallest movement is very noticeable. Working on a job that is specifically for television is amazing because it was captured in the best possible way by broadcast cameras swinging around on cranes - sometimes I can only see our work on Instagram stories!

Futuremag Music: How important do you think visuals are in complementing a musical piece? What design decisions go into making a music video, animation, etc?

Its about visually capturing some feeling in the song that you think other people will be able to connect with. Coming up with a solid concept is really important. After that, decisions like colours and pace have a reason behind them.

Futuremag Music: A sort of funny one to wrap it up. If ‘Linus Kraemer’ was a cocktail, what would be in it to be in it to best describe yourself and your work?

Haha! Thats a tricky one! I’m gonna say Aperol Spritz because it’s the obvious choice and GETS THE JOB DONE - cheesy answer sorry!!