We were commissioned to work on the post-production for the award-nominated US Motto Pictures/Netflix documentary. Together with Neon Zoo, we were in charge of all the graphic design, animation, and opening titles of the documentary. The documentary was incredibly intriguing, focusing on a very sensitive subject matter. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2023.
The time zone difference between us and the US production teams was one of the main difficulties that we faced, since it affected all parts of the production. Due to time differences, communication was problematic because we were working when the US team was asleep, and vice versa. This also had an impact on deadlines and timeframes. Furthermore, the documentary was still being filmed while we were working on post-production. We also faced some challenges in regards to receiving the right cuts, as a result, we frequently had to redo work and wait for the completion of some assets. Due to these changes throughout the post-production it also affected how we created the design and added to the time constraints.
We had to wait for permission to access some documents, information, and reports because they dealt with a sensitive topic, and those materials were still being used in actual, ongoing legal cases.
Early on, we decided on team and client working hours that corresponded to each of our time zones, and in order to monitor progress, we decided to hold weekly meetings. We used a number of platforms for communication with the production companies involved, and Frame.io was extremely useful to upload tests and assets and allow each party to have access to the information. We ensured a high level of flexibility and adaptability throughout the project, as we had to predict when we would receive new cuts to work on. This is why we built templates from scratch, allowing us to use previous cuts and documents and establishing a baseline for the animation and graphic design as well as the title sequences. This enabled us to then swap the source when new information or assets became available.
We had a lot of fun working on this project; it was a joy working with Neon Zoo, and it was interesting for us to work with Motto Pictures on such an important documentary.
We had initial meetings with Netflix and Motto, and then weekly meetings with Neon Zoo to ensure that everything met the director’s vision. Additionally, we had to make sure that the animation styles and designs that we used maintained the story’s authenticity and supported the message and delicate subject matter.
Following Neon Zoo supervision, we were in charge of creating mood boards, concepts and style frames to show the Director and production company and from thereon when those were approved we could move on to apply them to the different assets that came in.
We had several animators working on the documentary, and throughout the project, we focused on the colour scheme and style as these had to support and match that of the documentary.
Graphic Design, Motion Design, 2D and 2.5 animation, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator.
The client was extremely happy with the final assets and the documentary’s opening scene. We feel that this is some of our best work, and we really enjoyed working on this project. We were pleased to help create something that supported the style and message of the documentary.
Art Director: Alixe Lobato
Producer: Josephine Amalie von Bülow
Animators: Malena Merlina, Graeme Maguire
Animation Director: Elyse Kelly
Senior Producer: Molly Kaplan
Animation Assistant: Margaret Neely
Animator: Elyse Kelly
Animator: Federico Parodi