Cosmos Book Trailer

Motion Design

A trailer to Carl Sagan's book Cosmos (1980), that introduces the audience to Sagan's fascinating philosophies about astronomy and our place in the universe.

The Goal

To capture and highlight the sense of wonder, fascination, and philosophical ideas that Sagan expresses in his book.

Design Approach

To achieve this, I wanted the visuals to be unconventional and unique, and this was done through a “motion collage” approach. Furthermore, the slow animations made the piece feel surreal and dream-like — combined with the calming audio and Sagan’s unique way of narrating, the overall piece becomes moody and atmospheric.

Each motion collage was composed based on the narration and music. Animations are slow to emulate the feeling of floating in space.

Each motion collage was composed based on the narration and music. Animations are slow to emulate the feeling of floating in space.

Each motion collage was composed based on the narration and music. Animations are slow to emulate the feeling of floating in space.

cosmos_sagan

A Sound-Driven Piece

It made the most sense to use Carl Sagan's voice to narrate this trailer. I extracted one of Sagan's most famous monologues in his TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. To heighten the slow, dream-like feeling, and also accompany the narration, I used a Chopin piano piece that climaxes near the end.

I added more audio effects to make it seem like the narration is an old recording, as if Carl Sagan himself is speaking from the past into the future.

Colour Palette

palette

Fun fact: the cream colour used as the background is Cosmic Latte, also known as the average colour of the universe!

Styleframes

Web
Web
Web
Web
Web
Web

Animations

Animations

cosmos_1
cosmos_2

Project Info

Project Info

Audio Credits

Narration excerpt from Carl Sagan's documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47 (Frédéric Chopin), performed by Alfred Cortot (1933)

Audio Credits

Narration excerpt from Carl Sagan's documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47 (Frédéric Chopin), performed by Alfred Cortot (1933)

Audio Credits

Narration excerpt from Carl Sagan's documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage

Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47 (Frédéric Chopin), performed by Alfred Cortot (1933)

Tools

Photoshop
Illustrator
After Effects
Audition

Tools

Photoshop
Illustrator
After Effects
Audition

Tools

Photoshop
Illustrator
After Effects
Audition

Project

Instructor: David Gelb
February 2017

Project

Instructor: David Gelb
February 2017

Project

Instructor: David Gelb
February 2017