King David Animated Series

 

PROJECT BRIEF: An animated retelling of King David’s rise to power.

Final animated piece – Episode one of four.

My Roles: Recruited team, directed first piece and advised on subsequent three.

 

Developing the Idea & Writing the Script

 

I technically came into this project after the writing stage. I was handed a “final” script, but it needed significant rewrites.

 
 
One contained example of the script before and after revisions

One contained example of the script before and after revisions

 
 

I spent a day reworking it, and then brought on Lexi Diamond, an old comedian friend with incredible writing chops, to punch it up and make sense of many of the places that just weren’t working for me.

We spent about a week going back and forth, and came out with something that felt tighter all around.

 

Scouting Talent

 

Storyboard Artists

 
Storyboard by Katherine Nguyen

Storyboard by Katherine Nguyen

With such a tight timeline, it was a bit risky working with new people, and yet due to availability, all of the key illustrators were new.

 
Storyboard by Sherwinmay Bustos

Storyboard by Sherwinmay Bustos

I found two storyboard artists, Katherine Nguyen and Sherwinmay Bustos, through referrals.

 

Background Artist

 
Background by Borys Kubiak

Background by Borys Kubiak

A studio, Double Dare, had emailed me a couple years back for another job and I had them in my database as a place I’d love to work with.

 
Background by Borys Kubiak

Background by Borys Kubiak

 
 

Character Designers

I had an open call, with various artists doing test illustrations of David to see who to hire. Some of my favorite submissions are below.

 
By Anh Cao

By Anh Cao

By Wen Shih Yun

By Wen Shih Yun

By Luiz Gustavo

By Luiz Gustavo

By Mark Sidlovsky

By Mark Sidlovsky

By David Coffman

By David Coffman

By Sarah H.

By Sarah H.

By Guilherme Martins

By Guilherme Martins

By Arturo Miramontes

By Arturo Miramontes

 
 
Various characters by Rafa Gallardo

Various characters by Rafa Gallardo

The character illustrator, Rafa Gallardo, was a total professional and his illustrations jumped out as my favorite. He had a body of proven work, and presented a style where I could easily see him turning out dozens of characters relatively quickly, in a format that would work well with tween animation.

For animators and music, I was able to stick with the people I’d worked with on Shaboom!

Managing the Production

 

The large challenge on this project was timeline.

The writing stage stretched out nearly five months longer than I’d allocated for.

Writing didn’t finish until December, and with our company closing in March, there was a very real deadline to finish all sixteen minutes in three months, with absolutely no wiggle room. If this was my only project, that would have been fine, but it very much wasn’t.

 
The final schedule, with far less buffer than I’d like, considering all of the new hires.

The final schedule, with far less buffer than I’d like, considering all of the new hires.

 
 

Story Reel I cut for the first piece.

Story Reel

To pull this off, I had to ultimately split directing responsibilities with Sarah Lefton, my boss. I directed the first one and she directed the final three.

 

For the previous six years at BimBam, I’d always been the one to direct these sorts of productions, so it was a lot to put on her, as she was juggling a lot already, and this was the first time she’d done this.

It was a race to the finish, trying to complete the episodes before the company closed, and not at all guaranteed to happen.  

One of the most fulfilling things for me to hear after it ended, was that she enjoyed the process so much, she would have loved to have split labor in this way for other projects too. The company is now closed, so it’s moot, but having the process continue to evolve and grow right up to the end meant a lot.

 

Impact

 

This was BimBam’s swan song, released on the last week the company existed. BimBam’s original vision was to animate the entire bible, and while we went off creating all sorts of other videos, coming back to the bible meant we got to end in the same way we began. It’ll take years to see the full impact of these videos.