Ted-Ed 2018
digital 2D and cut-out animation, 4'28"
Educators: Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen
Direction, design, animation: Olesya Shchukina
Composer: Stephen LaRosa
Content Producer: Gerta Xhelo
Your favorite athlete closes in for a win; the crowd holds its breath, and at the crucial moment ... she misses the shot. That competitor just experienced the phenomenon known as “choking,” where despite months, even years, of practice, a person fails right when it matters most. Why does this happen, and what can we do to avoid it?
The video was commissioned by Ted-Ed. It's a YouTube channel with many short education videos on different subjects including history, literature and psychology. My video talks about why we feel stressed during an important meeting or competition and how to deal with it.
I started by reading the text and making short notes and doodles on the sides of the paper. I decided to make a character out of the stress we feel. It brought the whole story together. I quickly moved to the storyboard which has the narrator's text under each frame.

One of the pages of the storyboard

I came up with the style pretty fast. I decided to use very bright colors and limit their numbers, so the style looks consistent and clear. First of all, the video's purpose is to educate and I wanted everyone to be able to easily follow what's going on on the screen.
I made the animatic in ToonBoom Storyboard Pro and I chose Animate CC for animation. It's the software I feel the most comfortable animating in and I know how to exploit it to the fullest. I wanted to keep the style of animation simple and based on expressive key frames. My main reference was the Zagreb animation school and 60s animation.
This short gif is made from a film exerpt. It illustrates the animation style I went with. It was important for me do a good job of animating the facial expressions and make them look fun, because the face is a window to their inner experience.

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