Judaism 101 v2
Video Series I directed for BimBam between 2015 and 2018
1. The Basics of Judaism
Part 1 of 6
For nearly all of the pieces on this page, I:
Edited the video
Directed the animation & live action
I’d then add in titles and found footage as needed.
If I don’t have a description next to it, I directed, edited, hired the team, managed the artists, and added in final motion graphics as needed.
2. Jewish Holidays
Part 2 of 6
Decided to up the motion graphics level with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur below.
Fun fact: Jason, who narrated these, came directly from a morning acting for the show Transparent.
Along with Kosher, this is one of the first live action pieces I worked on in this series, and as a template, I narrated it myself.
Challenged ourselves to shoot on location, and Darryl Jones shot some great footage.
Had a lot of fun writing the retelling of the Purim story at 1:13 on this piece.
Nothing like staging and cooking a fake seder months in advance for this piece.
The true hero of this piece is Eric Breiner, who wrote a custom score and mixed it.
This was an experiment into what I could pull off using only found footage.
I’m a big fan of the visual at 3:15 - 3:24 we came up with of a toddler, kid, and adult all picturing different versions of God.
Worked in an incredibly different style with the fantastic Darren Wall, as it was a rather serious subject.
3. Jewish Lifecycles, Kids
Part 3 of 6
This is the first video I worked with Regh Animation on. They later went on to animate all of BimBam’s preschool series, Shaboom! This video was their test, in a way.
The first year of the grant, for the sake of budget, I kept all of the videos to roughly a minute.
This is a great example of a video very few people will google, but those that do see it, appreciate the short lesson.
We did two nearly identical videos - one for girls and the other for boys. Figured I’d just showcase one of them here.
For any blessing, there’s always a debate of whether people want to learn how to say it or what it means. This one set a nice precedent for how we could do both.
In the first year of the grant we covered birth, marriage, and mourning practices. In the second year we got to this major omission.
4. Jewish Wedding Practices
Part 4 of 6
On the second year of this grant, we shifted from one minute to two minute pieces, based on feedback from the first year. It meant going deeper on every topic.
Who says you can take a metaphor too far? Not me.
I had fun animating this piece myself, creating a bit of a different style for this one.
This piece is all about Tammy Chang’s incredible background art.
To be perfectly honest, this isn’t my favorite…was that too honest?
For each piece I make, my goal is always to make it better than the previous one. With so many pieces, the challenge keeps escalating. I remember how this one, made years ago, had just enough After Effects to push me to the next level in raising the bar.
My job splits between writing or editing the writing; hiring or managing the artists; and timing the initial story reels / putting the final touches on a piece. On pieces like this one, it ends up being heavily weighted towards spending forever on writing and rewriting, for even if the visuals were terrible, getting the script right on such a delicate subject is everything.
5. Jewish Rituals
Part 5 of 6
Matthue Roth’s script on this one created some very fun visuals. Tammy Chang did the backgrounds on nearly all of the Lifecycle pieces and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have gotten to work with her for a couple years.
In the second year, I had ten different animators animate the various Lifecycle pieces, as a testing ground for who to use on Shaboom!
All of the characters are by Jeanne Stern, who has come to define the look of BimBam, in many ways. She’s an absolute delight to work with.
Originally this was going to be about what is a Mezuzah. While that might have gotten more clicks, we got some amazing feedback that the question people actually ask about is how to balance different religious observant levels in the same house. It was a much more ambitious subject, so I scraped the story reel for “What is a Mezuzah” and remade this piece from the ground.
6. Jewish Mourning Practices
Part 6 of 6
I’m more proud of these four videos on mourning than just about anything else I’ve done.
Specifically, this one on caring for the body gave me a new appreciation for what’s involved in the Jewish mourning customs and is usually the one piece I’ll show to Jewish educators as an example of what sort of work I do.
This piece, as you can see in the thumbnail, combines art from the rest of the Lifecycle series with some reused art from a series of poetic pieces dealing with the Psalms that I’d directed for another project.
This piece got such a great response that inspired us to make three more pieces, making the topic of mourning, an often undiscussed part of Judaism, a four part series.
I’m just proud that I made this in a day and how it continues to get so many views.