At the start of April 2020, we were tasked by the creative team at Sedona in collaboration with Che Proximity, to produce an animated story that depicts the unique struggles of people working during this difficult time, specifically young moms. With the goal of shining a light on these unsung heroes, Psyop developed a heartwarming story that captures the intimacy and connection between loved ones that are forced to be apart during these trying times.
The story follows Esme, a nurturing mother, a caregiver, someone that provides for the community. As an essential worker at a market and a new mother, this time is particularly difficult for Esme as she struggles to balance work and life. As her workday unfolds, a pattern and rhythm is developed that highlights the challenging nature of her repetitive and physically demanding job. Esme stocks and restocks the shelves at the market until she is able to steal a moment of privacy in the intimate confines of the storeroom where WhatsApp allows her to connect with her family and be with them.
“We wanted to craft a story that conveyed the intensity of the moment, and the deep importance of feeling connected to loved ones in these times which are often so isolating. It was important to me that the animation be nuanced, reflecting the stillness of our world and the uncanny tension all around us. It was refreshing to see a brief that spoke to the heart of the moment. How people who are otherwise often overlooked in our society have become our heroes.” -Eve Strickman, Executive Producer
The 2D animation and cinematographic style of this piece were very purposefully chosen with the intention of creating a sense of realism similar to live action films. The delicate quality and fine lines of the 2D style perfectly capture the fragility of the world at this moment in time, while the sparing use of camera movement emphasizes the quiet stillness that everyone is feeling around them.
The project’s quick turnaround time combined with having to navigate newfound obstacles that come with working from home were the biggest challenges faced while making this project. The restrictions of Covid, however, allowed for a newly effective working relationship to develop between the studio, agency and client that was much more collaborative and communicative. And despite the time crunch (the project was pitched in only one day over Memorial Day weekend), the team was able to churn out an incredibly powerful piece that speaks to this unique and unparalleled moment in history where time with loved ones has become both precious and uncertain.
“We seek space to console one another in these isolated difficult times. WhatsApp provides us with moments of intimate private connection with our friends and family. Our work, our families, our lives have changed in ways we never would have imagined, and being able to connect one on one, quickly and easily makes navigating these changes a little easier.” – Marie Hyon, Director