Design > Digital Design

CLOUDS OVER CUBA

THE MARTIN AGENCY, Richmond / THE JFK PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM / 2013

Awards:

Silver Cannes Lions
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Case Film
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Overview

Credits

Overview

BriefExplanation

Our most important design objective was to make our content accessible without being overwhelming. 40' of expert interviews, 200 archival photos, videos, audio and document files, and 43 hours of JFK’s secretly recorded ExComm meetings all had to be at the ready. Since we were retelling a historical event, associating all these things with their moment in time was the best solution. This led to adapting the movie scrubber bar into a dynamic calendar of events. The overall design needed to be reverent to JFK’s legacy and reflect his passion for communication via modern technology.

ClientBriefOrObjective

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, widely considered one of President Kennedy’s finest moments as a leader. Goals included placing the crisis in its proper historical context so newcomers would gain a clear understanding and those who knew the subject better might learn something new, and underscoring just how close we came to global nuclear war.

Implementation

The overall look was designed to compliment mid-60’s archival imagery, updated for a modern audience. We let the timeline of events drive virtually every other design decision. We demarcated the scrubber below the video with dates so you could track events during the film and jump easily to a specific day. The viewer gets notified with a small image when there is an expert interview available on the current topic, and a small text note when an associated document, photo, video or clip of audio are added to a digital dossier. Clicking these pauses the film while you explore further.

Outcome

Within one week we had visitors from 129 countries spend an average of 12' on the site per visit. Comments on Twitter came from a surprisingly wide variety of quarters—military historians, cold war historians, alternate history buffs, documentary film schools and filmmakers, interactive media specialists, digital storytellers—the story and execution were powerful in different ways for different audiences. And the discussions continue today. Since launch we've received visits from 182 countries, and the interactive film will take up a permanent place within the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.

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