Responses by Reza Rasoli, creative director, Laundry
Background: The idea behind the three “A Fight To Win” short films for United States Marine Corps (USMC)’s digital series Battles Won: Moments of Impact, is to show that, to Marines, every mission is a battle. These two to three-minute shorts tell of the human motivations that drive their services. It was important for us to depict the turning points these Marines experienced, which inspired them to become the people they are today.
Reasoning: Each Marine’s story is unique and emotional. In learning about their humanitarian efforts, and not just stories of combat, their experiences became relatable. We had the mindset of translating each narrative into its own visual language that was respectful and engaging. For former Marine Recon Platoon Commander Jake Harriman, who founded an organization to end extreme poverty in rural areas, a dark, gritty approach supported the somber tonality of his story. For Marines Corps Reservist Jonathan Gillis, who focused on problem solving through 3-D-printed drones, we created a bright, colorful look that resonated with a tech-savvy crowd. For active-duty Infantry Marine Juan Vazquez, who shared his rescue mission story during Hurricane Katrina, the initial sobering portrayal turned into a hopeful and charming conclusion.
Challenges: Crafting a balance between visual style and respect—with impactful, engaging art that draws you into the climax of each story. These were serious life-changing moments for the Marines, so we didn’t want to take the focus away from their narratives with distracting designs. Through some rounds of collaborative design with JWT Atlanta and our teams, we found the visual tones that best fit the three stories.
Favorite details: We had a passionate team that put a lot into bringing the animations to life. A lot was handcrafted, frame-by-frame, and the art evokes a sense of humanity that pairs appropriately with the soldiers’ stories. The hand-drawn brushstrokes and textures heighten the emotional heaviness of Harriman’s story while the animation in Vasquez’s was livelier, softening the edge of the story.
Specific demands: This production involved three different stories, three distinct looks and three separate teams—but all with one deadline. For us, it felt like separate productions were happening at the same time, with each requiring their own unique battles and needs.
Anything new: We gained a new level of understanding of those who serve, and can only imagine what the USMC members have experienced. The animation doesn’t diminish the seriousness of their experiences—it elevates what they’ve accomplished. We can’t see what they saw, but these animations can put us in their shoes for a few moments.