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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

28th August 2019 - Comments Off on TED-Ed: The mysterious origins of life on Earth

TED-Ed: The mysterious origins of life on Earth

Working with marine ecologist Luka Seamus Wright, my latest animation for TED-Ed explores the origins of life on Earth, and more specifically, where it might have happened. The film takes us to the ocean floor where fissures in the Earth's crust cause hydrothermal vents to spew vast quantities of hot seawater; the probable cradle of life.

The TED-Ed process is to pair educators with animators to combine deep specialised knowledge with a talent for visualisation and thereby produce unique films that make complex subjects easier to understand without ever dumbing down the core lessons. In a sense, TED-Ed is the fissure in ocean floor, animators are the boiling water they spew, and the educators are the rich soup of minerals that bring forth life. I receive the script and voiceover from TED, from which I design and animate the film. I was also responsible for the sound design on this film, which was a lot of fun to make, comprised as it is of deep gurgling and aquatic percolation.

This is my tenth film for TED-Ed, many of which are collected here in my portfolio. Most recently I have taken on particle physics and the impossibility of dividing by zero, so as you will see, the subject matter is seldom light. My aim is also to make it fun.

If you'd like me to make a film for you, get in touch here to discuss you needs.

5th July 2019 - Comments Off on The School of Life: How to Cope with Depression

The School of Life: How to Cope with Depression

My newest film for Alain de Botton's School of Life considers ways of coping with depression by examining the crucial differences between that state and sadness. Understanding the nature of this difference is, according to the film's argument, the first step towards reaching self-understanding, and through this, to find a way of dealing with it.

The School of Life: How to Cope with DepressionHow to Cope with Depression for the School of LifeScript and voiceover are provided by The School of Life, for whom I have made several other films, mostly dealing with aspects of psychology. Based on this, I conceive the design and animation in a way intended to compliment the narration. This film was made in Adobe Animate, with some additional texture work applied in Adobe After Effects. There is also a lot of scribbling. I enjoyed that.

The School of Life: How to Cope with DepressionThe School of Life: How to Cope with DepressionHere in the news section of my site you'll find articles on most of my previous works for the School of Life, as well as a dedicated page in my portfolio, on topics ranging from a suppressed love of gherkins to the things that trigger us. If you like what you see and would like me to make a film for you, please get in touch.

30th April 2019 - Comments Off on CABI: Action on Invasives

CABI: Action on Invasives

Working together with Bristol-based creative agency Modular Digital, my first film for CABI was recently released. CABI (The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) are a non-profit development organisation focussing specifically on agriculture and the environment. The film itself concerns CABI's Action on Invasives campaign which seeks to raise awareness of the impact invasive species have on the rural poor in developing countries.

The animation was based on the illustrations created for CABI's brochure on Invasive Species so that we could focus the viewers' attention on the people most effected by the threat of Invasive Species. Created primarily using Adobe Animate, based on a script and voiceover supplied by CABI and Modular.

More information on the campaign can be found on Cabi's Action on Invasive website. Get in touch if you'd like to talk about how I can bring your campaign to life with animated video.

27th March 2019 - Comments Off on The School of Life: When Your Partner Tries to Stop You Growing

The School of Life: When Your Partner Tries to Stop You Growing

My newest film for Alain de Botton's School of Life YouTube channel is not solely about gherkins, but I confess, I did take a throwaway remark about pickles and run with it. It's really about when partners in a relationship can stifle the other's opportunities for growth. In a way, it works as a companion to my earlier film for them entitled "How Can We Grow Emotionally", released earlier last year.

As with previous films for the School of Life, I am given both the script, and Alain de Botton's voiceover to work from. Design and animation is then up to me. The film follows three couples, one of whom is struggling with a threatening new found love of pickles.

You can find articles about my previous work for the School of Life here in the news section, or on the dedicated page in my portfolio, on topics ranging from how to be a good guest to personal instruction manuals.