Build America

chalkboard animation

This spot went live last week.

We did it with the good folks at Fly Communications.

Build America Mutual “Blackboard” from Ace & Son MPC, LLC on Vimeo.

We animated the chalkboard stuff IRL (in real life, if you don’t know) capturing into Dragonframe and ultimately having it composited with the kids in AfterEffects.

Kelsey Stark drew everything. We figured the timing out first and had the help of a projector to make some of the trickier scenes less trick. Just like The Sistine Chapel.

Back to the Drawing Board

A film will generally work if there is a philosophy behind. If there’s a set ideas which define the approach. If the execution of those ideas corroborates the surface content.


I’m generally looking for methods of creating tactile work without generating too much landfill. That’s an aesthetic principle.

In this production about the jettisoning of the Articles of Confederation for
the U. S. Constitution, we thought it would be appropriate to put the chalkboard to use.

In part, it’s a play on Social Studies class, but fundamentally the approach suggests an important editorial content that plays with and underscores the content of the script. The Constitution was written with mutation in mind. It
was crafted to flex to the concerns of 13 distinct constituents (one of whom never even bothered to send delegates. Jefferson famously felt that every generation should craft its own governing documents.

More than its open structure and loose bounds on the social contract, the U. S. Constitution did not emerge from an Enlightenment-free vacuum. It was informed by many systems and orders and opinions that preceded it.

It’s like a chalkboard.