TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL - FILM GFX PACKAGE

TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL - FILM GFX PACKAGE

In 2020 I stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to work with Hazel Baird and Michael Ross over at Elastic to design, animate and template a full graphics package for Alex Gibney's documentary, Totally Under Control. This film is an in-depth look at how the United States government handled the response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the early months of the pandemic. Because of the subject matter it was created in secret over the course of 5 months. It really was an absolute treat to work under Hazel's creative direction again on a film that had such an important, albeit frustrating message to share. 

In 2020 I stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to work with Hazel Baird and Michael Ross over at Elastic to design, animate and template a full graphics package for Alex Gibney's documentary, Totally Under Control. This film is an in-depth look at how the United States government handled the response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the early months of the pandemic. Because of the subject matter it was created in secret over the course of 5 months. It really was an absolute treat to work under Hazel's creative direction again on a film that had such an important, albeit frustrating message to share. 

For the graphics package our deliverables were broken up into four sections:

  • Film Title Lock-Up + Opening Credits (templated Ae file)
    • Jigsaw Productions needed the ability to easily change the opening titles that rolled over the opening 2:30 minutes of the film.
  • Infection Maps 
    • Some sort of visualization of how the virus was spreading within the United States in the early days of the pandemic.
  • Timeline Templated Toolkits
    • Because Jigsaw had their own internal motion designer also working on this quick turnaround, they needed a set of timelines that could be adjusted and manipulated on editorial's side.
  • Virus Spread Visualization
    • This was the most time consuming part of the whole project, luckily we put early thought into how to build out these tracking heavy sections.

For the graphics package our deliverables were broken up into four sections:

  • Film Title Lock-Up + Opening Credits (templated Ae file)
    • Jigsaw Productions needed the ability to easily change the opening titles that rolled over the opening 2:30 minutes of the film.
  • Infection Maps 
    • Some sort of visualization of how the virus was spreading within the United States in the early days of the pandemic.
  • Timeline Templated Toolkits
    • Because Jigsaw had their own internal motion designer also working on this quick turnaround, they needed a set of timelines that could be adjusted and manipulated on editorial's side.
  • Virus Spread Visualization
    • This was the most time consuming part of the whole project, luckily we put early thought into how to build out these tracking heavy sections.
Totally Under Control Map Final_01
Totally Under Control UI Final_03
Totally Under Control UI Final_10
Totally Under Control UI Final_04
Totally Under Control UI Final_07
Totally Under Control UI Final_09
Totally Under Control Timeline Final_02
Totally Under Control Timeline Final_01
Totally Under Control Timeline Final_03

Collection Of Final Stills.

Collection Of Final Stills

INTRO + CREDITS

INTRO + CREDITS

One of the first elements I decided to tackle was the title lock-up as it would set the tone for the rest of the designs that I'd be building throughout the film. While we landed on the base design quite ealry on, we went through an entire heap of animation options throughout the course of production.

We gradually pulled back ever so slightly on the speed, complexity, saturation and integration of particles to find the right balance for this title treatment. I will say, one thing I need to work on, is supplying my clients with FEWER more well defined options. As you'll notice, some of these changes, while very noticeable to me (the designer/animator who's been staring at this piece on repeat), are quite difficult to pick up on. It's a lesson learned and something I've actively tried to improve upon in subsequent projects.

One of the first elements I decided to tackle was the title lock-up as it would set the tone for the rest of the designs that I'd be building throughout the film. While we landed on the base design quite ealry on, we went through an entire heap of animation options throughout the course of production.

We gradually pulled back ever so slightly on the speed, complexity, saturation and integration of particles to find the right balance for this title treatment. I will say, one thing I need to work on, is supplying my clients with FEWER more well defined options. As you'll notice, some of these changes, while very noticeable to me (the designer/animator who's been staring at this piece on repeat), are quite difficult to pick up on. It's a lesson learned and something I've actively tried to improve upon in subsequent projects.

Title Lock-Up Animation Alternates

Title Lock-Up Animation Alternates

INFECTION MAPS

INFECTION MAPS

This section might have been my favorite to work on throughout this whole process. We needed a way of visualizing the spread of the virus throughout the US in the early days of the pandemic. Similar to the intro, we landed on a general design look and layout quite quickly. We did however explore several color and design options. 

I decided to push this into the 3D realm and utilize the wizardry that is X-Particles for a kind of surface advection that gave the feeling that these infections were spreading and eroding away major metropolitan hubs across the US. Other than scrapping a  video UI that originally popped up in each location and slight color adjustments, the final deliveries of these sections weren't too far off from the initial versions. 

This section might have been my favorite to work on throughout this whole process. We needed a way of visualizing the spread of the virus throughout the US in the early days of the pandemic. Similar to the intro, we landed on a general design look and layout quite quickly. We did however explore several color and design options. 

I decided to push this into the 3D realm and utilize the wizardry that is X-Particles for a kind of surface advection that gave the feeling that these infections were spreading and eroding away major metropolitan hubs across the US. Other than scrapping a  video UI that originally popped up in each location and slight color adjustments, the final deliveries of these sections weren't too far off from the initial versions. 

100 Days_Map_01 (0-00-03-18)_WIP
100 Days_Map_01_V2
100 Days_Map_02_V2
100 Days_Map_02_V3
100 Days_Map_02_V4
GFX 009B_Map_ALT CLR OPT_01
GFX 009B_Map_ALT CLR OPT_02
GFX 009B_Map_ALT CLR OPT_03

Collection of Infection Map Designs and Animations

Collection of Infection Map Designs and Animations

TIMELINE TOOLKITS

TIMELINE TOOLKITS

Along with the polished deliverables, I was tasked with putting together an Ae project file that allowed Jigsaw's own motion designers to easily animate a suite of timeline elements that popped up throughout the film. It included lower thirds, centered graphics and transitions between the two. I put a relatively comprehensive set of templates together for them to utilize using several expression rigs I created. I have to say, I ALWAYS enjoy doing this kind of thing... who'duh thunk it.

Along with the polished deliverables, I was tasked with putting together an Ae project file that allowed Jigsaw's own motion designers to easily animate a suite of timeline elements that popped up throughout the film. It included lower thirds, centered graphics and transitions between the two. I put a relatively comprehensive set of templates together for them to utilize using several expression rigs I created. I have to say, I ALWAYS enjoy doing this kind of thing... who'duh thunk it.

Collection of Templated Timeline Animations

Collection of Templated Timeline Animations

VIRUS SPREAD GRAPHIC INSERTS

VIRUS SPREAD GRAPHIC INSERTS

This was definitely the heaviest lift of the whole project. We had many shots that needed this UI element revealing the spread of the virus all throughout the film. Quite a bit of roto and tracking work was required, luckily it didn't run away from me like it easily could have.

Early on I actually grabbed my buddies camera and took a couple test shots which allowed me to iron out the kinks before we received an onslaught of footage. Despite taking the arguably harder route of tracking inside of C4D and using X-particles, in the end it actually made things much easier. I was able to set up two to three XP systems and re-purpose them for each of the shots. It became a surprisingly slick and painless process once I had the "template" locked in. 

This was definitely the heaviest lift of the whole project. We had many shots that needed this UI element revealing the spread of the virus all throughout the film. Quite a bit of roto and tracking work was required, luckily it didn't run away from me like it easily could have.

Early on I actually grabbed my buddies camera and took a couple test shots which allowed me to iron out the kinks before we received an onslaught of footage. Despite taking the arguably harder route of tracking inside of C4D and using X-particles, in the end it actually made things much easier. I was able to set up two to three XP systems and re-purpose them for each of the shots. It became a surprisingly slick and painless process once I had the "template" locked in. 

Earliest Motion Tests

Earliest Motion Tests

Collection of Virus Spreading Graphics from the film

Collection of Virus Spreading Graphics from the film

When the idea of freelancing first entered my head back in 2017, I told my wife that my goal is to one day hop in bed and put on a great documentary or show that I had a hand in creating. This project was the culmination of all the hours I've put into make that dream become a reality. While the content of this film was frustrating to watch, I can't thank Elastic enough for pulling me onto this amazing project. This being the first feature length film I've worked on in a professional setting, I think it's safe to say I've come out of this experience a bit jaded (in the BEST possible way) - what a stellar team to work with day in and day out. 

When the idea of freelancing first entered my head back in 2017, I told my wife that my goal is to one day hop in bed and put on a great documentary or show that I had a hand in creating. This project was the culmination of all the hours I've put into make that dream become a reality. While the content of this film was frustrating to watch, I can't thank Elastic enough for pulling me onto this amazing project. This being the first feature length film I've worked on in a professional setting, I think it's safe to say I've come out of this experience a bit jaded (in the BEST possible way) - what a stellar team to work with day in and day out. 

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jbergren@jordanbruce.tv

jbergren@jordanbruce.tv       -      319.360.7929