Been working on graphics this week for just about the saddest show ever: Babyland, our special edition of 20/20. You can watch the opening of the film here.
A little about what it’s about, courtesy of the press release:
There are places in America where the unthinkable is happening — too many babies are dying. In most cities, black babies are dying at three times the rate of white babies. That’s what’s happening in Memphis, Tennessee, the city with the nation’s highest rate of infant mortality. A baby dies there on average every 43 hours. But many people are working to change that startling statistic. “Babyland,” a one-hour report anchored by Elizabeth Vargas, airs on “20/20,” FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 (10:00-11:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network.
It’s a really important topic, and I definitely think it’s worth watching (and for more reasons than “hey, that’s my work on TV!”), but a warning: some of the footage is pretty intense. I’ve been working on this all week and am still having a bit of a hard time with all the tiny caskets.
Can’t wait to see it all done and on air!
My company’s newest documentary, China Inside Out: Bob Woodruff Reports, premieres next Wednesday night (Aug 6th) on ABC. It’s a special edition of Primetime. I’m excited — it’s my first time I’ll have my graphics on one of the big four networks, and the logo I designed is already popping up in various places on the web.
It’s amazing how many graphics even an entirely live action film needs. Opening titles, logo bumpers for the start and end of every segment, locator maps, lower thirds, end credits — even the midbreak “…will return in a moment” is an animated clip. And on top of the show elements, there are web graphics, promo sequences, email ‘postcard’ promo images… the list goes on. And all this stuff, no matter how elaborate, pretty much goes under the radar of most viewers. If it doesn’t, something’s wrong: it’s either too over-the-top and distracts from the story or lacks the production value that makes your show seem like a real, professional undertaking. The graphics are important; they set the tone and help with the overall feel of the documentary — but subtle is key. That said, I’m pretty happy with the ones I’ve done for China. They’re shiny.
Anyway, a little more about the show:
China Inside Out, a documentary reported by ABC News’ Bob Woodruff, explores the stunning global transformation that is taking place at the outset of what is already being called “The Chinese Century.” While much of American foreign policy has been focused on the Global War on Terror, China has been shaking hands and making deals all around the world. In this hour-long documentary, Woodruff examines four of those relationships to discover how China’s rise is impacting all of us.
You can read more at my company’s site.
The film contest/web game ABC News is starting launches today! First entries are due June 9th.
Click Here to download a PDF with more information and entry specs, or check out
Get your stuff on ABC, guys!
Found out about an interesting upcoming online game/film competition today at work. (It’s through ABC News, though, not DocGroup.)
In short: you create 1-3 minute films for the web about world conditions in the future, and the best ones become part of the broadcast series and affect the narrative direction.
In an unprecedented ABC News two-hour special airing this September, the world’s top scientists, historians, and economists will predict what the world could look like by the year 2100. Experts say that unless we act now, the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could destabilize the world with catastrophic results.
In order to tell this story we need YOU to report back from the future!
ABC News is launching a massive online game that asks filmmakers and creative minds from across the globe to imagine the unimaginable. What will our world look like in one hundred years if we don’t save our troubled planet? We want you to create compelling videos that tell the story of how the next century unfolds. Your responses will be woven into an evolving web-based story, and the best ones will be used as the spine of the network primetime show.
We will feed you a detailed scenario of the global threats faced in your specific location and each future date, beginning in the year 2015. Your task is to create a gripping video (1-3 minutes long) about your future world as if you are experiencing it now, firsthand.
By the end of the game, the year will be 2100 and you will have created a unique four-episode narrative of the next century. Users from around the world will be able to view and comment on your imagined forecast and predictions.
The website’s launching May 9th. If you’re interested in participating, let me know. I’ll send you the first scenario details and entry specs. I think this has the potential to produce some fascinating films — and it’s nice to see a video contest with a little more at stake than trying to sell a product to win a prize. You can actually be creative, and there’s a lot of opportunity to bring attention to very vital issues in the process.