Jeremy Shuback

eScapegoat

 

While I’m proud this trailer I made, the main product I wanted to share is the escGoat.com, which I project managed. Here’s a scroll through of it.

It went on to get tens of thousands of submissions and was written up in dozens of papers. Here it is in the Wall Street Journal.

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Rather than talking about the illustrations or programming, I wanted to step through how we formed the initial idea. I made the quick and dirty mock ups below, trying to arrive at an idea that could work.

It started as a simple online quiz

I made this first mock up based on needing to include the following items in the project:

  • An online quiz that could create a heat map of how people misbehave based on geography.

  • Teach people the biblical origin story of the scapegoat.

  • Teach about the Hebrew month of Elul.

  • Teach a little on the Jewish value of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur.

  • Get their zip code, age, marital status, and religious level.

I thought it was a real stupid project, with impossible specs, but I took it as a challenge.

The next pass just generally tightened up the concept of this deeply stupid project.

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It took a lot of passes, tightening the wrong core idea. Here this bad version of the idea looks much better.

These next two passes were based on a request to make it more “dynamic, less of a simple quiz”, thinking that might fix the underlying problem.

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Nope. Still not any better.

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Finally, we landed on the winning idea by drastically simplifying. We got rid of the heat map and decided the only question that mattered was the fill in the blank. Forget the multiple choice Q’s. We’d then tweet out some of the best confessions. Additionally, I moved the data entry as a way to progress to the subsequent screens. It all worked together now.

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After a little more tweaking of the idea, I brought on Madelyn to actually design it. I was lucky enough to meet her at a figure drawing session, of all places.

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And it was a success, with over fifty articles and many sermons written about it.

So we did it again the next year, but bigger and better. You can see those finished designs in the video above or at the website - and we made it customizable so people could make it unique to their community. Around a hundred organizations got on board and had their community submit. There was a curriculum guide to go along with it. It was far more ambitious than the first year, but that’s a story for another time. Here are some fun images from that second year.

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You can check out the site at escgoat.com.


Credits:

Programming
Pavel Proger
Prashant Sani

Animator
Andrew Lewitin

Director & Product Manager
Jeremy Shuback

Executive Producer
Sarah Lefton

Illustrator & Designer
Madelyn Lee

 
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Twenty Part History Series

 

Project Brief: Plan to create a twenty part series spanning Jewish history. Directed seven of the videos so far.

Here are a couple others.

 
 

One of the videos in this series.

 
 

My Role: Wrote scripts, recruited and directed team

 
 

Credits:

Motion Graphics and Animations by
Stu Sufrin

Music by
Elijah Aaron

Production Interns
Alex Cohen
Taylor Short
Max Bamberger

Writer, Director, and Narrator
Jeremy Shuback

Executive Producer
Sarah Lefton

Subject Expert
Dr. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

Editing and Sound Mixing
Jeremy Shuback

 
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Youtube Explainer Videos

All of these were made for BimBam, a Jewish educational nonprofit. So if you’re noticing a subject pattern, that’s why.

  • Wrote Script

  • Directed

  • Narrated

  • Wrote Script

  • Directed

  • Editing

  • Narrated

  • Directed

  • Video Editing

  • Hired & Managed motion graphics artist

  • Directed

  • Video Editing

  • Hired & Managed motion graphics artist

  • Directed

  • Edited

  • Motion Graphics

  • Hired musician

An experiment into what I could pull off using only found footage.

  • Directed

  • Edited

  • Motion Graphics

  • Directed

  • Edited

  • Hired and managed Illustrator


And the many, many others…

In case you want to see even more pieces, here’s more. It pains me giving any of these such small thumbnails. I love them all. Well…I love most of them.
Same deal - I directed, edited, and hired everyone else involved on these.

Basic Jewish concepts


More Holidays


Parenting Rituals


Wedding Rituals


Mourning Rituals


Jewish Prayer Series


Miscellaneous

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I directed this short for Matthew Polly's book on Bruce Lee at BimBam. Lauren Flans wrote and narrated it and Ben Bromfield scored it. Fernando Rangel animated it. I did the motion graphics myself. This was a really fun piece to work on, taking a relatively simple concept of how Bruce Lee had one Jewish ancestor and blowing it out into a whole exploration of his family roots.

The challenge in this piece was there was only one month from the kick off to the final release, including hiring the team, writing, and getting approval from the client. Sprinkle in needing to switch out the voice actor and original musician four days before the launch, and this became quite a last minute hustle to get it right.

 
 
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Projects from 2012 - 2014

Ancient work that I poured my heart into and can’t imagine not showcasing on my site…even though it’s old.


The Judges Series

 
 

 The Psalms Series

 
 

The eScapegoat

 
 

Jewish Folktales and Bible Stories

 
 

 
 
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I ended up directing a video on each of the Jewish holidays. This one was the first, and served as a template for the rest. I decided to narrate it myself, as it seemed easier than hiring an outside actor. We shot in the Youtube space down in LA, and went there for a series of sessions over the subsequent months for future videos. The other times we grabbed actors, but as a first foray in shooting in a studio, it was nice to know I could mostly trust myself to get the acting done. Notably, I was in good hands with Mark Melamut's script to guide me.

Recorded in the same session as Chanukah, this was the first successful video I made combining live action with animation. The animation is bare bones, the motion graphics are just barely passable, and frankly the green screen could have been removed a bit better. Despite all that, things I'd do far better now, the video holds up due to a solid script presented at a fun pace.

This piece was a lot of fun, as on top of narrating it and doing the motion graphics, I spent a while researching nice Ketubahs and getting in touch with various artists to see if I could use them in the piece.

 

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This was a fun piece, as it's one of the first live action pieces I directed. Where up to this point I'd mainly focused on animation and motion graphics, this involved fun challenges like gathering friends, re-enacting a Seder, and sitting through a not-so-fake meal. Also, I got to cast myself as guy-who-stares-at-camera.

 
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This was one of a collection of pieces I directed where we recorded the actor live and then added in a whole bunch of motion graphics.

 
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The death of a loved one is a very disorienting time, and isn’t something many people think about until it’s actually happening to them. Understanding some of the traditions and the structured periods of mourning that Judaism offers may help provide some support in the grieving process.

In Judaism, traditions around death have two purposes - to comfort the living, and to show respect for the dead. Understanding some of the more nuanced Jewish traditions and rituals for caring for a body before the funeral may help provide some support in a grieving process.
The word for funeral in Judaism is levaya, which means accompanying. To accompany a person to their final resting place is an act of love and kindness for both the deceased and their family and this video explains a few of the Jewish practices to expect.

A short guide to what to expect at a Jewish shiva, and how to support a friend in mourning.

Learn to say the Mourners Kaddish - Jewish Prayer of Mourning - with this simple karaoke style video that combines the original Aramaic, a simple transliteration and the English translation. The Kaddish is in Aramaic, not Hebrew, except for the last sentence.

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Animator - Ted Newiss  |  Musician - Elijah Aaron

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Animator - Eurico da Costa NG    |   Musician - Ariel Root Wolpe

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Animator - Charlie Corriea   |   Poet - Rachel Lopez Rosenberg

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A Behind the Scenes of how we made The Mountain and the Cliff in 48 Hours.

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