NEW YORK CITY, September 23, 2010 — MOTIVE, a creative studio specializing in identity, branding, interactive, creative development and live action production for television, online, radio and print that transcends multiple media platforms, recently put the finishing touches on graphics packages for three of television’s hottest comedy specials.  By producing hip and edgy branding for Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags and Donuts, Russell Simmons Presents Stand Up at the El Rey on Comedy Central and Team Coco Presents The Conan Writers Live on TBS, the talented team of creatives is making MOTIVE the first stop for producers seeking cutting-edge digital design for comedy programming.


Denis Leary and the staff at Line by Line Productions, producer of Denis Leary and Friends Present: Douchebags and Donuts, tasked MOTIVE with creating the show’s identity package, including a logo and lower thirds for the special that reflected the comic’s gritty, raw persona. Utilizing Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, MOTIVE drafted several mockups of the 2D logo and lower third graphics, making it an easy task for the Line By Line team to review and then finish the program in-house.  According to Line by Line Productions Owner Frank Garritano, MOTIVE nailed the look his company and Leary were going for right from the start.


“Denis Leary approves everything, so we were concerned we would send him some stuff and he wouldn’t be feeling it, but he really responded to what MOTIVE sent over right off the bat,” says Garritano. “Everyone was in synch, so it was a really smooth process working with MOTIVE on this show. We had a sense of what we were looking for and the team over at MOTIVE jumped on it and delivered it without a lot of back and forth. They did a great job.”


Denis Leary isn’t the only big name in comedy to seek out MOTIVE for a hip look. When executive producer Stan Lathan was ready to launch Russell Simmons Presents Stand Up at the El Rey, a stand-up show in the vein of he and partner Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, he turned to MOTIVE to create the show packaging. A major challenge was coming up with imagery that did not use trite or overused comedy icons. In addition, MOTIVE was also asked to develop packaging that meshed with the powerful theme track played during the show opening, by Rev. Run of Run-D.M.C.


MOTIVE accomplished this by creating a deceptively simple-looking logo, depicting the show title in block letters. The powerful driving beats of the track motivated th
e title sequence action, each word for the title pulsates to the beat, gradually spelling out the show title. Future episodes of the show might be shot in other venues, so MOTIVE designed the “El Ray” portion of the logo so that it can be swapped out easily with another venue name.


“Def Comedy Jam has always had a classic opening with a lasting legacy, and now, nearly 10 years later, we needed to match that for our latest comedy series,” says Lathan, executive producer, The Simmons Lathan Media Group. “The MOTIVE team is right on top of all of the latest trends. The MOTIVE teams always delivers and they’re a joy to work with. They’re professional, perfectionists and will definitely be my first stop for future projects.”


MOTIVE has a genius for graphically portraying iconic figures in new, original ways and this is especially true with the 20-second opener it created for Team Coco Presents The Conan Writers Live, a one-hour comedy special featuring the former Conan O’Brian writers. The opener starts with a drawing of Conan’s trademark red hair, sans face, a chunk of which transforms into a red path winding through a cityscape until it ends at a microphone resembling a skyscraper. All graphics for the opener were done with Autodesk 3ds Max.


“I think any time you do an open for a show, the challenge is really trying to capture the essence of the tone while also being on the cutting edge of what’s out there right now,” says John Irwin, CEO of Irwin Entertainment and the executive producer of Team Coco Presents The Conan Writers Live. “I think MOTIVE did that with flying colors, and in a very short time frame. It took [MOTIVE partner / executive creative director] Gary Keenan and his team one and half weeks to do what normally takes around three weeks. These guys worked around the clock to make it happen.”


As for MOTIVE’s talented staff members, they loved working on Team Coco, and all of the other comedy projects, for that matter. “We’re thrilled at the amount of comedy work we’re doing these days,” says Chris Valentino, partner / executive creative director, MOTIVE. “Creatively, they often give us the opportunity to push the envelope, and do something different stylistically. The clients often turn out to be excellent collaborators as well. It’s truly a win-win situation for everyone.”


The MOTIVE team working on all three projects included: Gary Keenan, creative director; Chris Valentino, executive producer; Alicia Balestrino, producer and Felix Thoo, art director.



MOTIVE is a creative studio specializing in identity, branding, interactive, creative development and live action production for television, online, radio and print. MOTIVE designs and produces program packages and title graphics, as well as broadcast, consumer and theatrical promotions. The New York City based MOTIVE was founded in 2008 by an imaginative and award-winning team of industry experts who together create, conceptualize and execute captivating strategies that transcend across multiple media platforms. MOTIVE’s diverse clientele includes CBS, Time Warner, MTV, Nickelodeon, History, Versus, Chiller, News Corp, HGTV, Discovery, TLC, TBS, Comedy Central and HBO and advertising agencies and PR firms such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Kang & Lee, Concentric RX, Tonic Life, Vox Medica, Serino Coyne and GSW.