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Primal Screen Delivers Animated Charles Barkley For TNT

Atlanta-based broadcast design company Primal Screen has created an animated show open for the new TNT program LISTEN UP! The live, half-hour show features basketball legend Charles Barkley and host Ernie Johnson in conversation with guests from the worlds of sports, entertainment and news. Drawing on a style heavily influenced by graffiti art, the open features Barkley and Johnson rushing through city streets to the studio where the show takes place. Animation director and graffiti artist Ward Jenkins styled the piece to give a glimpse into the character of the show. When a taxi nearly hits the pair, their different reactions point to differences in each ones personality. Jenkins explained that the onscreen relationship between Barkley and Johnson was particularly fun to animate. However, as Turner Sports design director Skot Linder explained, an animated open was not an easy call for TNT. "For a show with a sports edge airing on TNT, a network known for drama, going with a cel animated open was a risk," said Linder. "Primal Screen has had such success in building franchises and developing characters, we knew that they'd create the feel we were going for. The animation is effective and really captures the personalities of Ernie and Charles." In addition to the open, Primal Screen created commercial bumps and other elements to play throughout the show. LISTEN UP! can be seen Thursdays at 7:00 pm on TNT. Primal Screen has been creating cel, CGI and stop-motion animation as well as music, sound and broadcast design since 1995. Primal Screen's work airs on many stations including Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Hallmark Channel and HBO Family. Additional credits for the open include creative director Douglass Grimmett, design director Rick Newcomb, designer Obi Onyjekwe, sound design Steve Mank, executive producer Susan Shipsky and producer Jim Threlkeld.