Responses by PJ Richardson, partner/executive creative director, Laundry
Background: We designed and animated collage-style graphics for an interstitial program on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) featuring screen legend Julie Andrews. In the special, Andrews reflects on her Hollywood years in between screenings of her most notable films, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Victor/Victoria and The Americanization of Emily. The animated sequences act as a nice break from the video segments, bringing a magical feeling to TCM’s special evening of programming with Andrews.
Reasoning: The animations visually underscore the stories Julie Andrews shares about her career. By incorporating analog-inspired techniques and mediums like stop-motion and collage, we were able to capture a vintage yet fresh visual style that honored the classic nature of the programming.
Challenges: Building the assets of so many illustrative elements along with bringing Julie Andrews’s likeness to life without fully showing her in certain moments. We achieved this by creating silhouettes and shapes that suggested the people, things and story moments we wanted to reference. It left more for viewers to fill in with their imagination.
Favorite details: We love the illustrative and graphic nature of the Turner Classic Movies Originals: Julie Andrews Mini-Doc with a tactile twist. The idea that it has a papercraft and stop-motion quality, but animated with modern day tools like After Effects, felt really nice to us. It was a great way to source period-specific photo textures and bring the animations into a more vintage world while giving us room to experiment with cropping the imagery and textures in unique ways.
Visual influences: We worked closely together with designer and animator Ariel Costa, whose collage work was our biggest influence here. It felt so new and modern, which is exactly what we felt this project needed.
Time constraints: The time constraint was a challenge; but working with Costa, who was very hands-on in leading both the design and animation, we were able to design based on how it would animate. This proved to be an effective solution given these constraints.