Rainbow Railroad's Impact in 2020
In 2021, Rainbow Railroad has received requests for help from over 5000 people, and there are more coming every single day.
I was commissioned to create an animated short to showcase the impact of Rainbow Railroad, a global not-for-profit organization that helps persecuted LGBTQI+ people get to safety.
It was a major collaboration with incredible director Simon Paluck. We both really wanted the mixed media, TED-ED and Vox style video — a mix of story and data, but with our own spin on the style. After some explorations, we ended up with a mix of papercut characters, shapes and photo cutouts.
It was my first time doing narrative work with character performance, and it was neat to see where this project has landed from concept, storyboard, to design and animation. And it was always fun playing with negative space to accentuate the compositions. Some of the best shots spun out of late night convos with Simon.
Early on, we found that the papercut style worked really well at the beginning when Mohammed's story is told. But to add a current feel to parts explaining Rainbow Railway's data, our challenge was to find a way to introduce some newspaper cutouts to the graphic, papercut compositions so overall, the video feels cohesive. Some of the styleframes here did not end up in the final video because various textures reads too much like confetti, which don't go well with the seriousness of the topic.
And lastly, this video would not have happened without Simon, and all of the amazing people that I got to work with. Drum roll....
Narrated by Kyah Green
Direction, Production and Writing by Simon Paluck
Design and Animation by Crystal Tai
Direction and Writing by Eric Wright
Direction by Dane Bland
With thanks to Agents of Good