Mixed media production company 1stAveMachine uses animated gags to take aim at measures that are ineffective against the coronavirus.
In response to a United Nations call for creators to help stop the spread of COVID-19, mixed media production company 1stAveMachine’s directing collective, Brut, has directed and produced a series of animated gags busting COVID-19 myths, taking aim specifically at how hand dryers, hot baths, and antibiotics, as well as cold weather and snow, aren't effective measures against the coronavirus.
The project came about, according to Brut co-founder, executive creative director and 1stAveMachine director Martin Allais, during the first days of the pandemic. “A project that we were working on was put on hold for obvious reasons, and then we heard about the ‘Global Call to Creatives’ from the United Nations in response to COVID-19. We decided to use our talent, resources, and newfound time indoors to do our part as artists to help out. Everything came fast and flowed naturally from the beginning to the end.”
As an artistic collective based in both Europe and the U.S., Brut is used to working remotely. “We are a team of 13 across story, animatic, design, as well as sound and comp,” Allais says. “We used the same kind of workflow as any other place, but the only thing is that we had to accelerate the process if we wanted our imagery and messaging to join the shared and curated library of content from our fellow creatives.”
“The main challenge was the tight deadline, which led us to follow a style and employ a pipeline that embraces how well we know each other both professionally and personally,” he continues. “It’s a system we’re comfortable working with and, despite the distance, everything came out seamlessly. We were all about having fun with it and approached the project brief with an open mindset.”
For Allais, even though the pandemic is inherently a heavy subject and “we are all experiencing such difficult hardships,” he and his team opted for an approach that was educational in a universal and lighthearted, almost silly, way. “We just hope that everyone gets informed and remembers to take the time to enjoy something positive that can impart knowledge about the virus through fun types of media and expressions…like animation.”
More information about the studio and directing collective can be found here:
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.