Motionographer Challenge Breakdown – Our Future Los Angeles


Once I moved to California, I used to be instantly thrown into the world of Hollywood media and Silicon Valley tech. However, additionally being in Los Angeles, I used to be proven the unimaginable revenue disparity across the metropolis in every single place I appeared. On my every day commute, I might see dozens (and at occasions, a whole lot) of individuals dwelling on the streets. And, whereas that made me really feel extremely unhappy, I didn’t know precisely what to do about it. I learn any article I may get my arms on and voted for measures to offer extra inexpensive housing, however nothing appeared to be making a lot of a distinction.

So, after a 9-month gig at a serious tech firm, I made a decision I needed to focus a big a part of my profession on work that I used to be enthusiastic about. Round that point, I used to be contacted by Greg Hubacek from an company referred to as Swell in downtown Los Angeles. He had joined the group as Inventive Director and wanted some animation assistance on a brand new challenge for Everybody In. Everybody In is a neighborhood motion whose mission is to finish the homelessness and housing disaster in Los Angeles. 

I nonetheless wasn’t positive how one can assist, however I spotted I may take a few of that confusion and channel it into my work. The primary video we did collectively was referred to as Everybody In – Progress is Constructing.

Greg and I labored hand in hand on design and helped develop a mode that may very well be used throughout a number of platforms— from internet to social to video. By chatting with Adam Weissler, the producer and scriptwriter for the challenge, we have been in a position to establish callouts and visuals that we hoped would resonate with folks in Los Angeles County. Adam’s in-depth information about how organizations are funded and who the “gamers” have been within the political ambiance was indispensable.

Now three years later, Adam, Greg, and I’ve labored on dozens of tasks collectively. Typically they arrive with a proposal, and we chat about one of the simplest ways to make it come to life.

Our Future Los Angeles later approached Swell about making a media technique for them, together with a web site, socials, digital adverts, and animated video. They needed to encourage folks dwelling in Los Angeles County to succeed in out to their elected officers and present their help for the brand new inexpensive housing company: LACAHSA. LACAHSA would intention to finish homelessness by rising the provision of inexpensive housing and neighborhood funding in historically underserved communities.

Greg started by engaged on the design for the location— which in flip would affect the ultimate design of the animated piece. I had been engaged on some tasks for Swell for United Manner of Larger Los Angeles and noticed a few of the preliminary designs and instantly needed to be part of this challenge. It had the precise aesthetic I used to be trying so as to add to my portfolio. Plus, it fell consistent with the work I used to be attempting to push my profession extra towards.

Adam and I bought on a name with a brand new producer for Swell named Jonathan Rasisi. We realized that there was a invoice (SB 679) being debated in Sacramento that, if handed, would fully restructure how LA County offers with its housing disaster. We talked about design and the way this challenge may in the end look. We handed backwards and forwards animation references, together with work by Jordan Scott, a publish by John Hughes, who works at Gunner, and some items by Hup Studio.

Gif by Jordan Scott

Finally, we determined to execute a predominantly textural, minimal, and colourful animation type that makes use of flowing geometric shapes. A whole lot of work specializing in the homelessness disaster tends to be very darkish and options imagery of individuals struggling; we didn’t wish to go that route.

Adam despatched over a script shortly after, and I started boarding it out. There have been some callouts of urged visuals, however different spots have been left to me to decipher. We needed to maintain issues minimal but additionally attention-grabbing. Utilizing a restricted form set, we needed to create metaphors the place attainable, with out hitting it an excessive amount of on the pinnacle.

I despatched an preliminary lower of the piece to Swell, and all of us agreed that a few the pictures simply weren’t working as we deliberate. The final animation movement labored total, however a couple of of the pictures have been holding too lengthy, and there appeared to be a possibility to push ourselves additional.

This was truly when a couple of of my favourite scenes from the piece got here into play.

Within the script, there’s a line:

“As a result of this company would have the ability to bypass the crimson tape and political video games which have held up housing efforts in our neighborhoods for many years.”

The primary cross had “crimson tape” forming a checkerboard. However, the crimson squares on the black background appeared sort of garish and didn’t actually match the temper of the remainder of the piece.


I’m not positive who urged it, however the concept of Join 4 was introduced up. At that time, I shared Alex Deaton’s The Library of Financial Risk with the group. They noticed how the balls moved in the beginning of the piece, they usually have been all in. I knew the second could be fast– however thought the payoff may very well be enormous.

One other second that simply wasn’t hitting was from the road, “And making a system that works for everybody is a chance we will’t cross up.”

The preliminary concept was to do one thing just like the coloured balls rotating round a middle anchor level– nevertheless it was simply falling a bit flat. I assumed we may herald a little bit of design from the web site and combine that into the piece in an offset grid with completely different animation rhythms driving the sentence. The thought was everyone seems to be a bit completely different, however collectively we type a unified group.

Lastly, close to the tip of the video, we went backwards and forwards on how one can present who presently endorses LACAHSA. The preliminary concept was to only convey up particular person coloured bubbles for every endorsement class: housing specialists, civil rights leaders, neighborhood leaders, and The LA Occasions. The animation labored rather well as a visible component, however since this was an informational piece first, we then tried to indicate a wide array of logos for every group. The issue was these logos weren’t essentially instantly recognizable, so this additionally didn’t really feel proper. We in the end landed on the concept of itemizing out the precise names of the organizations themselves– displaying the large help for such an necessary trigger.

Total, maybe what made this challenge work was the earlier collaborations with all of the events concerned. I had labored with Greg and Adam for Swell on a number of tasks and had labored with the sound designer, Kirk Pearson of Dogbotic, a ton as effectively. Understanding how one can play into one another’s strengths and when to push one another a bit additional was key. All of us felt passionate in regards to the topic at hand.

And, whereas we aren’t delusional in considering that one animated video will remedy the large drawback at hand, all of us agree that utilizing your abilities for causes you consider in at all times makes it worthwhile.


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