The KFC Crisis Explainer Video - The Slow Journalism Company
Enhancing storytelling with movement, rhythm and personality through animation.
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The Slow Journalism Company produces, among other things, a quarterly magazine called Delayed Gratification. It’s a very well researched and designed news retrospective that covers global events three months after they happen. With its focus on the facts and looking at the bigger picture there are lots of infographics within each issue. Alongside the more serious articles are entertaining and fun pieces about general trivia.
One such regular piece is their butterfly effect infographic, where they track current events all the way back to a surprising and often hilarious origin, tying it in with numerous historical events along the way.
Blend was approached to develop one of these infographics into an animation that could be used for social media promotion.
As a timeline-based piece the infographic already followed a very well structured narrative. The key challenge of this project was taking the existing content and redesigning the layout so the structure would work across time – not overloading the audience with info while always giving them a clear sense of context and position in the timeline.
The magazine has a certain playfulness when it comes to the entertainment and humour pieces so it was important to ensure the animation also kept this tone, both for the movement of characters themselves but also voiceover.
We explored a number of different layouts and found an icon timeline at the top worked best and, for a spot of fun nostalgia, referenced the tactile mechanical rotating slides style of old viewfinder toys.
We then broke each scene into its components and rigged every single character into a puppet that we could get a wide range of poses from and help bring the piece to life.
To enhance the sense of pace of the piece we also used banjo music to give it that Kentucky feel as well as an old-school radio announcer voiceover for a cheeky historical energy.
We took every opportunity to add extra personality into the characters and objects via the high contrast, bouncy animation and exaggerated character poses. The key goal was to produce not just an informative piece but a highly engaging and memorable one.
The finished animation caught the attention of a large American TV network and was optioned (where they pay to have the rights to potentially develop it before anyone else) up until 2021.
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