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The magic behind America's biggest awards shows
Motion graphics artist Dongjae "Krystofer" Kim has created for the Oscars, the Grammys, and some of the most watched awards shows in recent years. He gives the inside info on how his high tech artistry contributes to these productions.

Make no mistake, award shows are not merely about accolades; they are a chance for performers to "peacock" and display their talent whether it be dancing, singing, or simply being charming. Advancements in technology have exponentially increased the wow factor which complements these productions. Demands on the imagination of attendees and viewers at home are more than ever before thanks to the work of professionals like Donjae "Krystofer" Kim.

If you've watched any of the major award shows of the past year such as the Grammys, People's Choice Awards, Primetime Emmys, and others, you've witnessed this Motion Graphics Artist's work. Krystofer doesn't aspire to the spotlight, he's happiest being a part of the process that transforms screens and stages into fantastic worlds of magical visuals. The irony is that he's so busy that he often doesn't get to see these televised performances which he contributes to. As part of LA's Allucinari, Kim is currently creating for the biggest shows of the year like the upcoming Oscars, Motown's 60th anniversary tribute, and the American Country Music Awards. It's a world this young artist from South Korea never imagined but is overjoyed to find himself immersed within.

Anyone who watched the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on CBS saw the diversity of Krystofer's work and that of his company Allucinari. From the opening number to Camila Cabello's "Havana" with a high tech transportation to Cuban nightlife, Dan + Shay's intimate "Tequila" with overdriven illumination, and the evening's apex Dolly Parton Medley, Krystofer was an integral part of manifesting the creative vision for the evening's biggest moments. He relates, "With musical performances you're setting the mood and you're hyper aware of being synchronized to the timing. During 'Havana' the lighting on stage went red and I had to follow that change in the song to animate accordingly so the visual perform with the on-stage talent. The Dolly Parton Medley was a real team effort with several artists taking on different aspects of the presentation. It was a pleasant surprise that Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, and others all joined her for this performance."

Krystofer illustrates his work process using his role on the 2018 People's Choice Awards. In addition to the default stage look and the center pentagon screen (featuring the show's logo), artists' performances require both left and right side brain perspectives from Krystofer. He describes his work for Nicki Minaj's performance screen by stating, "I approach a song like choreography of shapes. I break down the song structure and the minimum beat elements. I start animating to the smallest unit of that song usually four bar phrases and then consider the concept and message of the song in addition to any specific notes given by the producers. Sometimes, like with Nicki's performance, the shape of the screen is something that you utilize to create a unique design or effect. I made piano staccatos into red vertical blades that pop on, while other shapes draw on as Nicki starts rapping. I used two thicker white bars around red bards to give the sense of a 'throne' to match the performer's energy and direction. Sometimes I get literal yet abstract such as in the flowing dollar signs, 'G' and 'F' [the song title was Good Form] while still maintaining the graphical look."

The 2018 Primetime Emmys required more artistic restraint of Krystofer but was demanding in that it had many more presenters and required numerous last minute changes; from the EMMY text used throughout the show to massive backdrop animations featuring the Emmy statue such as the one which accompanied Tina Fey's "In Remembrance" presentation. Aretha Franklin's heartfelt version of "Amazing Grace" provided the audio for this moment on the Primetime Emmys; Krystofer now finds himself at work on the upcoming "Aretha!" Grammy tribute show to the iconic singer set to air in March featuring artists like Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Shirley Caesar, and Smokey Robinson paying tribute, Krystofer's work will include rows of lights making patterns to a 3D cathedral stained glass designs that evolve and a video collage of historically significant images.

Other upcoming projects for Dongjae Krystofer Kim include the 91st Academy Awards airing February 24th on ABC, the American Country Music Awards, and the Tyler Perry Farewell Tour. While still quite young, Krystofer finds himself working on the most famed productions in the world. He's aware of how this is viewed and admits, "Yes, I think people are definitely impressed when they see the client list and I feel proud of the work. It's exciting to feel that I am part of the performance and emotion that people are experiencing. Like the people on these shows, I don't do my job to receive recognition but it's really great to be appreciated for your talent and hard work."

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