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2nd May 2024 - Comments Off on Harvard Law School: Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector

Harvard Law School: Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector

My first collaboration with the Harvard Environment & Energy Law Program is about US legislation designed to reduce methane emissions. It's a complex subject with disappointingly few flatulent cows to animate. In fact, the biggest cause of methane emissions in the US is the oil and gas sector.

The film helps unpick the raft of new regulatory measures and explains how advanced detection technologies can be used to monitor emissions and enforce change. It is made entirely in Adobe Animate and riffs on the idea of a complex network of pipes being simplified as a metaphor for how different stakeholders need to understand the rules and work together.

It serves as an example of how animation can be used to communicate the most complex subjects in a fun and engaging way.

If you think animation could be used to help explain the work of your organisation, please get in touch!

3rd April 2023 - Comments Off on TED-Ed Showreel

TED-Ed Showreel

I recently put together a reel comprised of clips from all the films I have made for TED-Ed since 2015 - 13 films in total, ranging in theme from clouds and living on Mars, to acid rain and why you can't divide by zero.

It's always a great pleasure to work on a TED-Ed film. Animators are pared with educators, experts in their field, whether it's meteorology, biophysics or astronomy. My job is to bring the script to life with animations that assist the understanding of often difficult subjects. In a way, this is the function of most films I make, regardless of whether they are for TED-Ed or one of my many other clients. For a wider range of my work, check out my most recent showreel here.

If you'd like me to make an animated film for you, please get in touch.

10th October 2022 - Comments Off on 5Rights Foundation: Child Online Safety Toolkit

5Rights Foundation: Child Online Safety Toolkit

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to work with the 5Rights Foundation again. My first collaboration with the organisation dedicated to protecting children online was the illustrated educational booklet, Demystifying the Age Appropriate Design Code, back in 2019. This was followed by another booklet this year, entitled Demystifying Age Assurance. Not longer after that, I finally got to work with 5Rights on an animated short.

 

The video was made to support the launch of the Child Online Safety Toolkit, a "comprehensive how-to guide for making the online world free from harm for children". You can read more about it here.

If you're interested in making films to explain the work of your organisation, please get in touch.

1st April 2022 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: Why the Sun could crash your internet

TED-Ed: Why the Sun could crash your internet

Another film for TED-Ed (my 13th to date), this animation explores the science of solar storms. It opens in Colorado, 1859, the date of the largest solar storm ever recorded, then goes on to explain why they happen, the possible consequences, and our increasing ability to predict them.


The educator for this film was Fabio Pacucci, who has collaborated on several previous astronomy-themed TED-Ed films, but this was our first time working together. As always, TED-Ed provide both the script and voiceover, giving me free rein to develop the look and feel of the film. The biggest challenge for this animation was developing a believable replication of the aurora borealis. The film was made using Adobe Animate, Photoshop and After Effects.

My previous films for TED-Ed explore a vast range of subjects, from acid rain to the origins of life. My most popular film for the channel has now been viewed over 8 million times. Find out more here, or get in touch if you'd like me to use animation to explain a complex subject for you.

14th April 2021 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: Whatever happened to acid rain?

TED-Ed: Whatever happened to acid rain?

My latest film for TED-Ed explores the reasons you don't hear much about Acid Rain anymore. Studying past environmental problems when we have so many current ones may seem strange, but there is much to be learnt from the way some countries were able to reduce the threat of Acid Rain. In particular, it highlights the value in listening to scientists rather than lobbyists for business, and how the solutions to these problems can be lead by carefully considered policy changes.

 

 

 

 

The lead educationalist on the project was Joseph Goffman of the Harvard Environmental and Energy Law Program. TED-Ed provide me with his script and the voiceover from which I am free to develop the visual concept. The film was made in Adobe Animate, and bases its look on the 1960s and '70s milieu of the scientists who first noticed the increasing acidity of rain.

It comes almost a year since my last film for TED-Ed, which explored how steroids work. It is my 12th film for the YouTube channel, some of which have been viewed over 6 million times. Past films include an exploration of how clouds were named or how to detect a supernova. You can find out more here, or get in touch if you'd like me to make a film for you.

12th March 2021 - Comments Off on The School of Life: To Have or Not to Have Children

The School of Life: To Have or Not to Have Children

My first film for The School of Life in a little while is actually one I made some time ago now. It's ostensibly about the decision whether or not to have children (although in my experience, choice is very often not a factor), but it is in fact more concerned with any difficult decisions we might face in life, and how we live with the consequences. As the film puts it, "we aren’t choosing either a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answer - merely deciding which form of future suffering we are best suited for."

As always with The School of Life films, the script and voiceover were provided by Alain de Botton. I then ran with the design, choosing to make all the characters rabbits, apart from one scene in which a rabbit unmasks himself to reveal that he is in fact Søren Kierkegaard. This is the scene I enjoyed animating the most. As usual, it was made using Adobe Animate.

This film joins umpteen others I have made for The School of Life, on subject matter ranging from anger and depression to relationships and growth. If you like what you see and would like me to make a film for you, please get in touch.

20th November 2020 - Comments Off on Drinkaware: Alcohol and mental health

Drinkaware: Alcohol and mental health

Drinkaware is a new client who approached me to make a film for Alcohol Awareness Week highlighting the mental health impact of excessive drinking. Intended to be short and direct with the aim of driving viewers to the Drinkaware website for advice on how to cut down and more information about the links between alcohol, depression and anxiety.

The film had a very short turnaround time, so I drew heavily on their existing brand design. Fortunately, their bold colours and clear pictograms lent themselves perfectly to my style of film making, so even with just a few days to make the film, I believe we were able to create an impactful short animation. As usual, it was created in Adobe Animate, and the film can be viewed both on the Drinkaware website and on YouTube.

19th June 2020 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: Can steroids save your life?

TED-Ed: Can steroids save your life?

Made during the early months of the 2020 coronavirus lockdown, the release of my latest TED-Ed film fortuitously coincided with a flurry of news about the possible efficacy of steroids for treating COVID-19. It explains how corticosteroids enter our cells and can help fight allergic reactions, rashes, asthma, and harmful immune responses.

Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Can steroids save your life?Anees Bahji is the educator behind the script supplied by TED-Ed, from which I designed and animated the film. As is often the case with films for TED-Ed, the challenge is to make often quite abstract ideas easy to grasp (what do steroids look like? How do you show the ways in which they interact with the human body?) Often I also face my own steep learning curve, when trying to depict activity at a molecular level.

This appears to be my eleventh film for TED-Ed, following last year's exploration of the mysterious origins of life on Earth with Luka Seamus Wright. Earlier films have scrutinised particle physics or the impossibility of dividing by zero. Cerebral stuff, rendered fun to grapple with. That's the plan! You can see many of my previous films for TED-Ed here, or get in touch here if you'd like me to make a movie for you.

19th June 2020 - Comments Off on The School of Life: Learning to Be Angry

The School of Life: Learning to Be Angry

Another new work for the School of Life YouTube channel, this time tackling anger. Specifically, it considers those who are slow to anger, and whether timidity might not be a hindrance. Is it possible that we can learn to be angry in a constructive way, rather than raging blindly, or just bottling it up until we explode? This is a short film which teaches us to speak up when we need to.

The film is developed from Alain de Botton's script and narration, and is the latest in a long series of films I have made for the educational organisation. Most of the films consider aspects of personal growth, and the ways in which we interact with one another. Having tackled depression in my last film for them, anger was another compelling topic with which to grapple. It was animated mostly using Adobe Animate and, to a lesser extent, Adobe After Effects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous films for the School of Life can be viewed on their YouTube channel, but many of them can also be found here. Topics range from how to be a good guest to why we are so easily triggered.

2nd March 2020 - Comments Off on CABI: International Year of Plant Health

CABI: International Year of Plant Health

You may not know it, but 2020 is International Year of Plant Health. My second film for CABI (The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International), in collaboration with Bristol-based creative agency Modular Digital, takes a fun look at the importance of the well-being of plants.

Starting from an amusing script provided by the client, this animation was an opportunity to create a cast of anthropomorphic plants, some of whom I'd be delighted to take on further adventures! The light-hearted tone is further helped by voiceover from talented performer Louis Jones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More news on CABI's launch of the inaugural International Year of Plant Health can be found here. My first film for CABI, Action on Invasives, was released in 2019. Get in touch if you'd like an animated video to support your campaign.

International Year of Plant Health: Characters