Creating Supporting Animation for the Detroit Public TV produced episode, “Local USA: Beyond The Tap“
Just in time for Earth Day (April 22nd) Kohlitz was approached by Detroit Public TV to create supporting animation for “Beyond The Tap.” Beyond the Tap was the second show in season two of “Local: USA,” a half-hour series that features fascinating stories of diverse people, culled from public television stations and independent producers, and curated around a single theme for each program. Local, USA is produced by WORLD Channel and producing partners from across the country.
In this DPTV produced episode, the national spotlight is on Flint, Michigan as it struggles in the midst of a water crisis that has been mismanaged by government officials at every level and now threatens more than 90,000 citizens. To explain how lead affects the body, Kohlitz created a short animation that effectively represents lead’s distressing effects on the heart and kidneys of adults and worse, the brains of children. Black curling swirls of dense smoke are shown choking the heart and kidneys of an adult then graying out a child’s brain as it struggles to retain simple math equations and facts. In another animation, the normal procedure for how water is treated is displayed then followed up with where the Flint water treatment went wrong. The choking black curls appear again, this time oozing from the unprotected lead pipes below homes.
Working off just a script and a voiceover track, Kohlitz selected dark colors and textures that matched the tone of the voiceover and music. And the movement of the supporting animation is relatively slow to let the depth of the voice over sink in. Any images of humans were purposely made nondescript as this is an event that can happen to anyone if the people in charge of our water treatment are so naive again.
You can watch the full episode on the World Channel here.