Anime Unleashed


BROADCAST: SHOW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

“Anime Unleashed” was TechTV’s nightly showcase for Japan’s edgiest and most relevant animated series of the era – aka 2002.

After lengthy debate and exploration, the design team arrived at the conclusion that anime’s uniqueness came from its duality of stillness and motion. Animation was sparse and simple, yet visceral and engaging. Color exploded across the screen, yet possessed a balance and appropriateness. And the most complex imagery of robotic mecha and futuristic vehicles could be communicated with still imagery translated across the screen.

Combine this with an homage to Luc Besson’s “Fifth Element,” as well as a bit of William Gibson, and the show’s graphic opener took shape: a hurtling freefall through a cel-styled futuristic city, bursting into a streaking tunnel filled with charging mecha, concluding on a cyberspace influenced logo resolve.

Secret, Strange & True


BROADCAST: SHOW OPEN
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Senior Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

An episode of “Secret, Strange, and True” once featured an exposé on the Pentagon, and how it was actually constructed as a giant satanic portal for evil to be channeled into the world. Whether that’s true or not is certainly up for debate. But it paints a pretty accurate portrait of what this TechTV documentary series aims to achieve. Sensational. Mysterious. Provocative. Outrageous. True (at least to certain parties).

Unexpectedly, the show open isn’t nearly as enticing as the content would suggest. But that’s a conscious choice. Rather than upstage the given show’s content, it seemed more appropriate to ground the visual design in some manner of artful legitimacy.

This translated to a typographical treatment, where each of the title’s three words is visually defined through abstractions of motion and color. “Secret” is red and caged like a mystery. “Strange” is green and amorphous. And “True” is blue and framed with geometrical structure.

TechLive


BROADCAST: SHOW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

The signal heard round the (virtual) world. That’s the concept behind this dynamic show open for TechTV’s nightly news magazine. The premise centers on the motif that everything is digital, with information comprised of bits and bytes, shuttled around instantly at all times. And the only barrier being bandwidth.

Particularly tricky was designing the show open’s mid-section accordion segment, a content area that could expand and contract time-wise, based on the given evening’s teaser footage. As the open was designed to be a seamless flow of information, when the graphic elements halt to focus on the evening’s content, the momentum still needed to be present. The solution, surprisingly, was a straight cut, bridging the gap between inserted content and the lead-in to the logo resolve.

The “TechLive” open was awarded the BDA Bronze in the category for News Programming In-House Open.

The Tech of:


BROADCAST: SHOW GRAPHICS PACKAGE
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / Lead Broadcast Designer
CLIENT: TechTV
ART DIRECTOR: Rick McKee

This remarkably in-depth TechTV documentary of “how things work” focused on just about everything: newspapers, oil tankers, high-rise demolition, football strategies, bridges, ice breakers, paper clips, etc.

For the show’s on-air design, the visual concept was based on the digital analysis of the everyday world. In this case, a building, a car, a newspaper, and a train. Oil tankers and ice breakers were tempting, but none were immediately accessible for filming. And although the paper clip would’ve been classic, it just didn’t have the immediacy we were looking for.

My clearest memory was shooting without permits in Oakland’s BART station. It was a year after 9/11. Tensions were still high. We were almost arrested. Luckily, our producer knew how to run interference.