You’re Not Helpless (Anti-Bullying PSA)

By 2017-03-10 Blog


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Most of us have some experience with bullying either as a victim, a bystander, or a perpetrator. The National Academies of Science conducted the most comprehensive scientific review of the evidence behind why bullying happens and how to effectively intervene or prevent it. They put all that into an impressive report but they wanted to do more to get the message out there. That’s why they partnered with us to create the video above. In it, we put viewers into the shoes of a teacher who has to stand by and watch one of his favorite students fade under the harsh glare of bullying.bully-dark-gif-3After interviewing several teachers about their experiences with bullying, we wrote different versions of a one minute script that follows a helpless teacher who witnesses one of his best students being bullied. We worked with local dancer Lauren De Vera and composer Chris Carlone, to create original music and dance choreography that we filmed and transformed through rotoscoping into the finished animation. For the final look of the animation, we used visceral chalk style to accompany the emotional content of the script and subject matter.

For a peek behind the curtain, check out this behind the scenes video and a little more description of the process from our artists.

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Figuring out choreography at Bahay Base dance studio with Lauren De Vera.



Before (live action footage) and after (rotoscope animation).


2017-03-10 15_22_28-bully-IG-timelapse-rotoscope-V1.mp4 - VLC media player

Over 1000 frames were drawn while using the live action dance footage as a reference for some scenes.


This was probably one of our most experimental projects in recent memory and we’re proud to have worked with many different talented creatives to spread this message.


Client: National Academy of Sciences (
Dance Studio: Bahay Base (

Ric Cunningham, Producer
Alex Herder, Creative Director & Writer
Joseph Le, Art Director & Director of Photography & Animator
Dave Ellington, Animator
Alex Au, 2nd Camera
Lauren De Vera, Choreographer & Principal Dancer
Chris Carlone, Music Composer
Daniel Howard Àlásong, Assistant Music Composer
Bryan Kopta, Voice Actor

Amy Phan
Charles H. Boyer
Cindy Hoang
Jarell Mique
Vinh Si Ngo




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