Mailchimp Give Where You Live
We partnered up with Mailchimp and Kin and got in the local “Best Of” hotspots game, developing an animated short film tour of the best your ‘hood has to offer. But instead of recommending the same burger joints or tourist traps, we asked ourselves, “What if the good places in town are the places that do good?”
The Big Idea
These hotspots aren’t just great, they do great things. Local nonprofits and initiatives are a part of the fabric of our everyday lives, and they deserve to be treated as an important part of our communities. They’re often the ones that do the most good in the ‘hood, and helping them has huge effects on the communities they belong to.
The ol' Bait and Switch
The structure for these is simple. Our guide starts at a high altitude — the “map to star’s homes” POV — before diving down to a few select hotspots.
Each “chapter” shares the same setup-and-reveal rhythm. First we show something familiar (and possibly cliché) only to have that notion quickly subverted by an altruistic alternative.
And you thought you were getting a burrito as big as your head.
In “Give Where You Live,'' as in its sibling film from 2020, “Big Change Starts Small,” positive change expresses itself as a fun, vibrant, visual language. We wanted the characters to physically embody the good work they do and design them in a way that would make them better and more effective at their work.
For example, when designing a basketball coach, we created a character who is not just tall and agile, but whose torso is a backboard and hoop. These fun surrealist hybrids communicated our message while being stylistically memorable.
Getting from Here to There
Way back when our collaboration with Mailchimp and Kin began, we explored what form this film could take.
Animated storybook? Music video? An edit of insightful idioms?
We explored and sketched a ton of stuff that never made it into the finished film, but many of these initial ideas and characters informed our work and were important stepping stones for us to arrive where we did.
Drawing out Our Do-gooders
Even as we started to narrow in conceptually on the premise and shape of the film as a whole, finding just the right way to depict our “do-gooders” was a process. From our pens and pencils spilled many kind-hearted oddballs and lovable locals that physically embody the good they do and look how they feel.
Every Frame a Painting... er... Drawing
We threw the kitchen sink at this one. Pen, pencil, charcoal, marker, tablet, shape animation, cel animation, a little bit of subtle 3D, loads of coffee, tons of hours, late nights, and elbow grease. Even some clever post effects that make things not drawn by hand look like they were.
Although this “best tool for the job approach” sounds like a timesaver, it... wasn’t. Every frame is lovingly, hand-crafted, penciled, and polished with the same level of care and dedication that the local legends we’re championing put into their work.
We left it all on the field on this one — we’re always happy to do it for a worthy cause.
Gwynne Evans Reid