Production Value

High Production Value from the Folks at Vox.

Over the last ten years, there has been a steady shift on the internet for news agencies and content creators to produce more video. The New York Times has been an absolute champion of this with a steady stream of well-produced documentary news shorts that have bolstered readership and helped the paper transition from a traditional news source to a multimedia powerhouse with content that rivals any broadcast news agency. Another online source that consistently blows me away with animation and visual information is Vox. They are producing some serious animated content that teaches and presents information with a high production value that is engaging and compelling for the viewer. Case in point, the video below on American / Cuban relations dating back to the 1850’s. Even if you aren’t really into history, it’s hard not to be drawn into this video and watch the entire 4 minute animated short. Why? Because it is so well done. Great visuals, solid script, smooth narration, and relevant information about a current event. Hat tip to the producers at Vox. Nicely done.

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“The Gift”. Be responsible. Give, adopt wisely.

The purpose of any good PSA is to make you stop and think about the message they are trying to get across to you. Sometimes the message is in your face, other times the message is a bit more subtle. In some cases it sneaks up on you and smacks you on the back of the head. CAse in point the long form directors cut of “Gift” for Hungarian organization Zoetis.

This is a really well made piece with high production value, and a story that translates into any language. The message is universal and impactful. It does what a PSA is supposed to do, it makes you think and it leaves a lasting impression. It gets a bit predictable based on the title, but the video and the soundtrack keep you drawn in, even when you figure out where this is going.

Directed by Zsemberi Zsófia, and shot by Horváth András, the two of them bring Görögh Attila, and Zsemberi Zsófia script to life in a way that draws the viewer in and holds them for the full 3 minute length of this web short. This is a really well done spot for Zoetis that hopefully will get transferred to similar organizations world wide.

“It’s How We Connect”, Attention to Detail.

One of the things that I talk about when it comes to design, or any creative endeavor is attention to craft and production value.

I think one of the things that has put me off on so many stop motion pieces lately is, not a lack of production value or craft, but instead an attempt to make it look to analog. The insistence on shaky cam, or slight camera movement. Fake gate weave and frame jitter injected as an attempt to make the piece feel old school. The thing is it’s not necessary. When I see camera movement or jitter, it just makes me think the person that made the stop motion piece wasn’t paying attention to locking down their camera.

The video below by Lucinda Schreiber is a great example of stop motion done right. The animation is fluid and bright. There is no attempt to hide mistakes with post production effects. No shaky cam. No frame jitter. Just nice clean stop motion animation timed perfectly to the soundtrack. Because of this it feels fresh, unlike so many current stop motion works that feel forced. Like stop motion was used because it is the flavor of the month, instead of the correct technique for the spot.

Directed and Animated by Lucinda Schreiber
Producer: Florence Tourbier
E.P: Oliver Lawrance
Post Production: The Gingerbread Man
Art Department: Kevina-Jo Smith
Music: Sonar Music
Track: by the Bumblebeez