National Education Association – The Power of the NEA
We had the opportunity to work with our friends over at Weber Shandwick to produce a series of videos for the National Education Association as part of their Strong Public Schools 2020 campaign. The objective of this campaign was to generate awareness and excitement among NEA members about their voting power and influence in the upcoming 2020 election.
“We are choosing more than the next president of the United States in the 2020 election,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “We are defining who we are as a country and determining the core values and principles that will guide this great nation moving forward. Educators plan to be front and center in this conversation. We will make our presence felt in this election and will play a major role in choosing the next president of the United States.”
In other words, we needed to demonstrate the power of the NEA. After all, they are the largest labor union in the United States.
When we got the call, we were super excited because:
A) we firmly support better working conditions and wages for our public school teachers and employees.
B) we had the chance to do some illustrative and character animation work, which animation studios like us love to do.
C) this project was an opportunity for us to personally express our views on Betsey DeVos and the Trump Administration.
Weber provided us with a script, and we were responsible for all design, illustration, character animation, 2D and 3D animation, sound design and music.
We collaborated with the amazing cel animator (Reece Parker) to bring the main character to life. This technique is very specialized and takes a significant amount of time, but the end result was well worth it. Cel animation gives a certain organic feeling to characters that aren’t achievable with keyframes and After Effects.
As one of the only animation studios that focus on inclusive design, we intentionally featured people from with disabilities. It’s important that this underrepresented population be included, respected and empowered.
As a nod to authenticity, we enlisted Lily Eskelsen García, the acting President of the NEA, to read the voiceover. Her passion for empowering our teachers could not have been replicated by anyone else.
This campaign lets everyone know: if we’re serious about our children’s future, we need to elect a pro-public education candidate.
We’re on board with that. Learn more at strongpublicschools.org
Every project we do at BIEN begins with creative exploration and styleframes. Once a look is chosen and the script is finalized, we move into storyboard development. On certain projects we start with hand-drawn rough sketches to make sure the visuals we’re exploring hit the mark. Then we develop the actual frames that get us one step closer to production. Here are some initial frames and sketches to give you an idea of how we work. Like many animation studios, we follow a motion design production process that we’ve modified and improved over the years.
The NEA also called on their 3-million-strong member base to submit designs for the official 2020 campaign poster as part of a nationwide contest. We created a :30 spot that was used to build awareness about the contest. Here are a few styleframes.
Agency: Weber Shandwick
Agency ECD: Amy Leonardi
Agency Creative Director: Christine Fitzsimons
Agency Copywriter: Sarah Kennedy
Agency Executive Producer: Joe Childress
Agency Senior Producer: Brennan Kelley
Motion Design + Animation Studio: BIEN
Creative Director: Hung Le
Executive Producer: Ricardo Roberts
Voice Over: Lily Eskelsen García, President of The NEA
Illustration: Hung Le
2D Animators & Compositors: Hung Le, Rocío Cognos, Sianey Montes de Oca, Stephen Fishman, Dustin Scott
3D Animators: Dustin Scott, Hung Le
Cel Animation: Reece Parker
Sound Design: Sonosanctus