Moving Pictures
GIFs are made by showing many still images one after another—like a flipbook!

Courtesy of Danny Chang, photo by Kate McAuliffe (Danny Chang); mayakova/ (Popcorn)


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He Makes GIFs for a Living!

Danny Chang works with celebrities to bring you the perfect reaction for every situation.

Courtesy of GIPHY

    GIFs have changed how we communicate and share our feelings. Let’s say you can’t wait to hang out with your best friend after school. Sending him a moving picture of Thor screaming “Yesssssss!” says way more than a regular text message, right?

    GIPHY [GIF-ee] is a company that makes sending that funny message possible. Even if you don’t use its app, you’ve probably seen its GIFs on Instagram, Snapchat, and more.

    We talked to Danny Chang, the director of partnerships at GIPHY. It’s his job to work with celebrities to create the GIFs you love.

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You’re the director of partnerships. What does that mean?

    I work with music and sports companies to get GIFs onto GIPHY. So take Lil Nas X, for example. When he released the video for “Old Town Road,” we had GIFs ready for fans to use right away. I also work with celebrities who come in and do video shoots just for GIFs.

How do you decide what makes the perfect GIF?

    It has to be short and look good as it loops—or plays on repeat. It also has to show an emotion that everyone can relate to. 

What’s your favorite GIF you’ve worked on?

    We had the rapper Lil Yachty come in for a video shoot. We made this GIF where he’s furiously hitting buttons on a video game controller. Then our artists drew a bunch of cartoon coins coming out of the controller. I love how it shows excitement! 

What has helped you succeed in your job?

    I love people! Being a “people person” is super important in my position. Everyone I work with has to trust me. And it helps if they like me too!

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

    There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. I have to work hard to set goals and figure out which tasks are most important. 

Do you have any career advice for our readers?

    Learn how to listen, take in information, and learn. Everyone you meet has something to teach you. 

Mini Skills Workout

Lil Yachty “furiously” hit buttons on a game controller. What do you think furiously means?

What are two things the perfect GIF needs?

Find a sentence in which Danny explains how he gets everything done.

Skills Sheets (1)