Hue&Cry, the award-winning animation studio led by Creative Director Matt Darnall and Executive Producer Scott Friske, have developed a new campaign targeting viewers for MSNBC’s nightly news program “All in with Chris Hayes.” The Emmy Award-winning show committed to in-depth reporting on the nation’s biggest news and political stories of the day covers everything from American trade, debate news, and more.
Created by agency McKinney, “Keep Up With What Matters, Keep Up With Chris” taps into current events and features political commentator Chris Hayes in :30 and :15 spots touting his popular TV show and “Why Is This Happening?” podcast. Supporting Darnall’s task force on the project at Hue&Cry were designers Angie Son, Diego Abad, and Lauren Cash and animators Travis Schmidt, Reza Iman, and Zack Williams.
With a world on high-alert over the past year, the spots’ skillful construction utilized the naturally vibrant color red paired with distinctive line-drawn animation. The cel-animated scenes delicately and deftly reflect everyday events that rocked the news cycle and remained on the forefront of minds in households worldwide over the course of 2020 and into 2021: American elections, politics, education, healthcare, culture & social issues, and the state of the economy.
On creating the project, Hue&Cry Creative Director Matt Darnall shares, “This project was our second foray into making something for Chris and his show. The first round, we made a couple that were shorter format and purely cel animation. This time, the team came with an action-packed script for a :30 – upping the ante! We at Hue&Cry are ‘all in’ with Chris Hayes, so we were excited to work on it.”
Beyond the spots being lengthier, for Darnall, the creative challenge was determining how to approach the campaign’s more complex scenes. “Chris’ show is all about making sense of the current events happening in the world, and as we all know – 2020 was pretty chaotic. Our aim was to capture that chaotic energy with our animation, while still clearly communicating relevant social issues, and showing how Chris can help make sense of it all.”
On the technical aspects of the project, Darnall says, “The beauty of cel animation is that technically, there’s usually not much ‘technical’ about it. It’s just one drawing after another, sequenced in a manner to create a moving picture. That relative simplicity leaves little corners to be cut. When you have over a dozen objects orbiting in a vortex, slowly rotating in a seven second shot, it requires hundreds and hundreds of drawings, and it can get quite complex and well…technical. To be honest, it’s kind of insane. It’s crazy, but we love it and we really enjoyed doing it for these MSNBC spots.”
Hue&Cry’s campaign for the show can currently be seen across all MSNBC and NBC properties on television as well as online. “All In With Chris Hayes” airs weeknights at 8PM ET.
Executive Producer: Scott Friske
Head of Production: Jeff Bybee
Senior Producer: Bethany Novak
Associate Producer: Cloie Leger
Junior Producer: Phebe Martin
Creative Director: Matt Darnall
Art Director: Angie Son, Luis Roca
Designers: Angie Son, Diego Abad, Lauren Cash
Animators: Travis Schmidt, Reza Iman, Zack Williams, Lauren Cash
Technical Director: Ryan Musselman
Editor: Danny Reidy
Flame Artist: Renee Tymn
Producer: Nick Brenton, Brad Powell, Naomi Newman
Production Coordinator: Ben Bouxsein
Group Creative Director: Jenny Nicholson, Will Chambliss
Associate Creative Director: Kathryn Moffitt
Integrated Business, Talent & Traffic Affairs: Miriam Hughes
MSNBC / NBC
On Camera Talent: Chris Hayes