The Atlantic Archive: Albert Einstein film was the fourth in a series by The Atlantic. Each animator took an article from the publisher’s extensive 160 year old archive, articles that resonate today, and adapted it to an animation. I chose the article “Atomic War or Peace” by Albert Einstein from 1947. It struck me as eerily relevant due to the current aggressive stances on nuclear weapons. The animation grapples with this tension, just as Einstein grapples with the advent of the Cold War in his essay. It’s continually moving downward like a falling bomb, but never shows one exploding into a mushroom cloud.
The project was an amazing experience for me because, in addition to my usual roles of pitching, scripting, animation and sound design, I also produced this video. This new role involved casting a narrator that worked remotely from, incidentally, across the Atlantic ocean. Pun intended! Although, is that technically a pun? I’m not sure.
The film was picked up by Digg on the day of release, “liked” by a Vimeo staff member and accrued over 80,000 views across Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
For this animation, I tried to achieve a level of illustration I hadn't been able to ever before. The challenge was imitating Italian Futurist painters from the era. I was particularly taken with "The Strength of the Curve" by Tullio Crali, but also the shattered, geometrically precise style of Futurism in general.
Below is a portion of the storyboard, it should give you an insight into the detail of the planning process:
The animation is designed so that as it progresses, a painting is assembled. There's continuity between each element, smoothing transitions and making the whole thing slightly more difficult for me. You can see sections of the animation stretched out across time below: