Why Is That Guy Sat On An Elephant?

An excellent question, and one that the second film for The Pioneers sets out to answer. This was the second of the two projects for The Pioneers, with this film focusing on the source of the inspiration for their logo design. It was also an opportunity to create some caricatures of Jonathan Haidt and Daniel Khaneman.

The video followed the same production methods as the previous film – based off scripts that were created by The Pioneers team, with some input and suggestions from myself and my brother. I then storyboarded out the film, working up concepts for each element, and got sign off from The Pioneers. After that, it was a matter of creating all the art and putting together the final animation, before handing it back to my brother to put together the sound design.

As always there was a lot of collaboration between myself and The Pioneers, a lot of back-and-forth communication, making sure the final film was going to meet their vision for the project. I’m pretty happy with the results (as happy as I am with anything that I make, admittedly).

The Pioneers have shown the film to both Jonathan Haidt and Daniel Khaneman, both of whom were happy with it – in the case of Jonathan Haidt, he liked it so much he got in touch with The Pioneers and (last I heard) was talking to them about putting together some new studies.

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Who Are The Pioneers?

Well – these guys. They’re a new London startup who hired my brother and I to produce a number of short animated films. These films were to use the characters created by the graphic designer who put together their branding, be super-simple 2D in terms of aesthetics, and be relatively light and funny where possible. They’d be providing the scripts, my brother would do the sound design, and I’d do everything else.

The process was straightforward. After receiving the script, I board the film out and those boards are then signed off on by the client. This is usually happening concurrently with the recording, with two or more scripts being recorded on the same day to keep costs down. At that point it’s a matter of creating all the artwork (put together in Illustrator) and doing all the animation (all done in After Effects).

Creating the different characters based off the original designs was fun and an interesting challenge. I think I ended up producing better stuff building off the initial framework than if I’d had to design them myself from scratch.

I’m currently working on the next film and will be updating with that in a week or so. The “Shot A Week” project I’ve been doing will return once I have a bit more time in my schedule.