Bran Dougherty Johnson drops a new reel, signs with FCC

Bran Dougherty-Johnson has long been a watchdog in the motion design community, keeping an eye on misbalances of power and conducting research to help us all work together fairly.

But he’s also a director with a finely honed voice, as his new reel shows. Bran recently signed with a new production company, The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, with offices out of Charleston and New York.


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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.


Dominique Elliott

Congrats to Bran! When I saw “FCC” I thought that perhaps he was going to take on the Net Neutrality discourse….;)


Ha! I wouldn’t put it past him!

Brian Gossett

A true legend. Always excited to see new work from Bran!


Yea! Bran!!!


Im loving it : )


Hey guys, I have a question:

Let me start by saying, I am not an internet “hater” or whatever, and I would like my comments to be taken lightly, as I am more interested in understanding why, and I don’t mean to be demeaning. Oh here goes…

I have a background in architecture & arch visualization and I am now transitioning in motion graphics. Why do you guys think this reel is exceptional? Why is it exceptional enough to feature on a blog like Motionographer? I have seen a lot more complex animations browsing Vimeo, and they never get featured. What makes this reel stand out to your expert eyes? I do notice that the animation is very smooth, and seems pretty lifelike, and he has a nice illustrative style. But as I said, I have seen a lot more complex work all over the place.

If someone could enlighten me, I would appreciate it :-)

As I said up top, I am not trying to demean his work, I am just curious and looking to understand and increase my knowledge…. Please don’t ask if I can do better, because I already know I can’t.

Thanks guys.


Justin Cone

Hey Gio,

I think it’s totally cool to question why something has been posted, especially when done in such a polite, respectful way. Thank you!

One of the things I personally enjoy about Bran’s work is that — for years — he has purposefully resisted more “complex” (to use your word) aesthetics. He has carefully built a style that is, in many ways, the antithesis of complexity. It’s based on a timeless, minimalist approach to design. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s refreshing.

I’ve been covering motion design here on Motionographer for over 8 years, and I often grow weary of the “more is more” thinking that many motion designers (especially young/new ones) think exemplifies good work. To communicate clearly with as few strokes as possible — that takes real talent and dedication.

Just my opinion. But then, so is 90% of the stuff on this site. :-)


Your welcome Justin, and thanks for response.

Ahh, after going and watching the reel again I see what you are saying about his rejection of more is better. His style does remind me of Dan Flavin, articulating space with a few lines; and does seem to be more timeless as you mentioned.

As a beginner in this field, I do have the notion that “more is better”, not sure if that is because of my informal training in the field. Thanks for opening my thoughts to the idea of reduction in motion design, as it was never something I thought about. Reading and listening to others in the industry, they always say add more, go through your piece, add secondary, tertiary animation, and when thats done, add grain add vignette and the list keeps going. I have understood them to say that the more you have going on in the frame, the less the viewer can actual digest, so you can mis-time, or mess up slightly and not be noticed.

While this is one way off looking at it, I am glad to see your opinion on reduction, and simplification and quality.

I do enjoy your blog, and the 90% of your opinion, I think this is a great place for inspiration and high quality work,

Thank you.


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