Kinetic Typography Short Story: Pendergast

By in Videos on 27 April 2014

I enjoyed making this video. It was a good exercise in timing. One thing I love about stand-up comedy is that the same joke can live or die depending on the comic’s ability to time it correctly. In writing, word choice and periods and commas all help to manipulate the reader’s pace, but ultimately it’s the reader himself who decides when and how quickly to read a given text. When it comes to timing, a writer has nowhere near as much control as the stand-up comic—and man, that gets me down. Thankfully, with animated text, I get to deliver each word at the pace I want. I especially had fun with this in the Stevens-Duryea fire scene, with the closing line “Then he” (beat) “was on fire.” You read it the way I hear it. And isn’t that every writer’s dream?

Pendergast Behind the Scenes


  • Letraset dry letter transform sheets
  • Art paper and construction paper
  • A 1956 issue of Holiday Magazine (old man reading paper; IN THIS LIFE newspaper-ish spread. The exact issue of the magazine escapes me.)
  • Canon Rebel DSLR camera, with 50mm 1.4 lens
  • Transparent paper of some kind (it’s plastic, or some other plasticky type material, so can you really call it paper? There’s a special name for it but I don’t have the package with me, so this description will have to do.)
  • An antique car cut out from an old magazine (the magazine’s name escapes me. This is kind of a half-assed materials inventory, isn’t it? Sorry.)
  • Laser printer


  • University Roman
  • Futura (Medium, Light, Black, and Medium Condensed)
  • Palace Script
  • Goudy Old Face (Regular and Italic)

All letters were extracted from Letraset sheets, except for those in the very first part of the IN THIS LIFE text block, in which letters were laser-printed onto the plastic paper I still don’t know the name for. Oh, and that part where the paper is ripping to reveal Pendergast’s previous lives—those were laser-printed onto colored paper.

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Drew Roberts

Creator / Animator at Stop Motion Haiku
Drew Roberts launched Stop Motion Haiku in April 2014. He loves this stuff, and wants to tackle more text animation, video marketing, and web content management work for clients. For more info about all his services, visit DrewRobertsOnline.

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