There was a lot to complain about during the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night. The script was almost unbelievably awful, Neil Patrick Harris made everyone feel awkward, and a haze of racism hung over the entire night. But it wasn’t all bad: design-minded viewers noticed that the graphics introducing nominees were inventive and delightful. Animated graphics captured key moments in nominated films–for instance, transforming the brutality of American Sniper into solemn bullets painting trails of red across a beige sky–before transitioning seamlessly to the next nominee.
Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Belinda Lanks tracked down the man responsible for these brilliant designs, Henry Hobson, who is a designer and film director living in LA. Alongside the animation studio Elastic, he was tasked with creating all of these sequences, a total of 23, a mere two and a half weeks before the show. Hobson has been involved with the Oscars for seven years now, and he’s been pushing to take these sequences in a more artistic direction. “The Oscars is the celebration of film, but there’s also a degree in which we can celebrate and tell the story of the filmmakers’ journey through design,” he told Bloomberg.