Repeat business.

It’s always nice when a client comes back for more work. It can be even nicer when that client is the CEO of he’s second brand. Around 10 years ago we did some video work for popchips. Years later CEO Keith Belling asked for more videos, this time for his new company RightRice.

Super Knocked Up now on Amazon Prime

When Super Knocked Up was picked up by Amazon Prime DeFabio Design re-worked our poster art for the show to suit the layout of Amazon's menu.  If you watch it you'll also see our logo, opening titles and special FX work through out the two seasons.


Also not bad company to keep with The Tick, Indiana Jones, and Woody Allen nearby.

Also not bad company to keep with The Tick, Indiana Jones, and Woody Allen nearby.

A logo bumper for American Cinematographer.

When the American Society of Cinematographers came to DeFabio Design for an animated logo reveal we wrestled with possible thematic and visual notions like sketching the logo on a storyboard (not exactly what cinematographers do) or seeing the logo distorted through different lenses (closer perhaps). Using an old-time, almost sepia film countdown seemed too....past tense. As if that's where AC had been but not where it stood today. But the idea proved to be a good start so long as we bridged from that into the modern era of digitally captured movies. A little bit of sound design helped that transition along and suddenly we were no longer emphasizing the past but celebrating a long history that continues to be written with the best of old and new tools.

Imitating a Python for a Python.

Monty Python was a huge influence on me. In my twenties I was in a TV sketch comedy group and we often lamented that all the best ideas had already been done by Python. John Cleese in particular was my idea of perfect comedy. So to get the chance to create a TV ad for Cleese was a dream. Then to hear they wanted some animation in the style of Terry Gilliam put me over the moon. His was a style I always wanted to attempt and now I would be doing so for a Python. To be honest the style was harder to accomplish than I thought and I was using digital cut-outs. I can't imagine the slow process Gilliam went through using actual bits of paper.

Grrreffic new TV spot for Daniel Tiger Live!

DeFabio Design handled the edit and graphics to build this spot from footage of the live show. The show tours theaters across the USA and this spot gets localized for each city and venue.  Based on the TV series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood from the Fred Rogers Company, this show offered lots of fun visuals to work with.

Making videos about the guys that shoot movies.

American Cinematographer the magazine of the American Society of Cinematographers, turned to DeFabio Design to produce two series of videos they'll be releasing online and in social media to support their print product. One series "Beyond the Frame" shows a behind the scenes glimpse of the Director of Photography at work and pairs it with the moment we saw in the finished film. New videos will be released weekly. The second series "INSIDE: American Cinematographer", serves as a monthly sneak peek at a story from the upcoming issue of the magazine.  Sort of like a movie trailer for a magazine.

Highlights from American Cinematographer's full coverage on "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," photographed by Larry Fong, ASC and directed by Zack Snyder. For the complete story, see the April, 2016 issue of AC.



Creating a rare night of flms.

DeFabio Design is proud to help The Patient Experience Project produce a night of films on Rare Diseases for World Rare Disease Day today, 2/29. The Pep first asked if our film Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope could be screened and Daniel DeFabio not only agreed but offered to curate the event, finding other local families with films about the rare diseases they are facing.  Short documentary films and clips from news programs will be screened to give a glimpse into the lives of those living with Menkes Disease, Giant Axonal Nueropathy, Niemann-Pick Type C, Malignant Infanitle Osteopetrosis and Friedrich’s Ataxia.

Our film Menkes Disease: Finding Help & Hope was completed on this day (rare disease day) one year ago -- although the addition of Mary McDonnell narrating came months later-- and today it reached 10,000 online views.

The screening tonight is sold out. More information is here.


"Waiting For Mercy" film available now on Amazon Prime

DeFabio Design did the motion graphics in this documentary that shows how the mood post-911 may have lead to government overreach and the entrapment of innocent Muslims in Albany, NY.

A great watch if you were hooked on Steven Avery's casein "Making A Murderer". It was just added to Amazon Prime.

Waiting For Mercy film - graphics by DeFabio Design

About The Case
The Albany Counter-Terrorism Task force, the Justice Department, local police, and IRS agents organized the entrapment scheme, which was planned to portray these 2 men as “potential terrorists” who knowingly participated in a (fictitious) plot to send a shoulder fired missile to New York to attack the Pakistani Ambassador. As an end result of this long sting operation, involving hundreds of work hours, a convicted criminal informant, and many thousands of dollars, both men were arrested in 2004 and charged with money laundering and material support of terrorism.

In 2006, the two defendants were each sentenced to 15 years in prison. Using the actual material, recorded over many months by the FBI informant the documentary shows the documents and the lawyer’s responses to the charges and asks the audience to judge for themselves.

Promotional video for PBS by DeFabio Design.

When PBS wanted to show the world's leading advertisers that they would be a good fit as sponsors of PBS, they turned to DeFabio Design. We were asked to re-script, design, voice and re-edit an existing video starring Steve Goldbloom of PBS Digital's series “Everything But the News”. The new piece would retain Steve's comedy as a signal that PBS is not as stuffy as some brands might think while more clearly showing that many different styles fit in as PBS partners. The highly effective tagline “Get them while they're thinking” was preserved and given a new visual identity that evokes active engagement with thought provoking programming. Our motion graphics help deepen the correlation between “thinking” and viewing a PBS program.

You can read more about this video and how it fits the overall strategy at PBS at Current. They go so far as to quote nearly every line of our narration.


You can view the piece by clicking here, then scroll down to the Partnerships section and click the first video “Working Together”.

Down in the dirt.

DeFabio scripted, voiced and animated this explainer video for Bellamy's Trenchless Technology. Also called "no dig" or Horizontal Drilling, it's not easily understood until you see it visualized.

That time I had to think like a VJ.

About six years ago I was moonlighting as a VJ (video jockey) at nightclubs. It was a fun way to do some gritty, loose, ultra fast paced visuals that felt like a big departure from a lot of my corporate (hopefully polished) looking day job stuff.  Experimentation was key and mistakes didn't matter much if they blurred by in the blink of an eye.

Often clients will rely on vague buzz words to suggest a visual style. Some recurring favorites include: edgy, grungy, fast paced.  Sometimes they mean what they sound like. But often they mean only the faintest shade past some inside-the-box corporate safe zone.  Several times I found myself thinking "Do you mean your edgy or my edgy?".  I've actually asked it aloud a couple times.  There were times I delivered a first pass with my interpretation of the edge, grunge and speed I thought they wanted, only to hear a slightly off-put "Oh, well no, not THAT edgy." And after some back and forth and taking some edge off, the client saw something they were happy with.

But at least once the opposite happened. A long time client who knew me well personally and professionally, found an early draft to be less impactful than he had in mind. He said "Why don't you do some of your VJ style stuff on this?" And wham! the floodgates were open. Ideas I had self-censored got added in and gave the project much more energy and originality.

VJ work had let me stretch my creative muscles and play with unusual styles. I was wrong to think of that as something unrelated to my day job. Experimentation should be a first step on every design project. Self censoring might reduce the risk of getting it wrong but it doesn't increase the chances of doing something original and powerful. And sometimes even on what seems like a conservative creative brief, a there-are-no-rules attitude can go a long way to getting the best work.


MTv & MTv2's Girl Code Guy Code Live

The comedians from Girl Code and Guy Code are on tour and we did their TV spots. It was fun to mimic the pop art (almost comic book) style of the TV show's motion graphics.  Also since the line up of comics on each stop of the tour changes, our localizations of the ads are more involved.  Normally a localization changes only the voice over and graphics with the information for each new venue. But on this campaign we find footage unique to each comedian for each stop on the tour.

Seven years of BSFF

In the early days of the Ballston Spa Film Festival, Daniel DeFabio did the TV ads because he founded and ran the festival.  For the past three years it's been under new management and they asked DeFabio Desgin to make this year's ad.