180LA, Los Angeles / UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX / 2018
This animated short tells the story of a single mom who loses her manufacturing job to automation, goes back to school, and starts a new career in IT (Information Technology). Her personal reinvention is sparked by her beloved Rosie the Riveter poster: an iconic figure who once motivated millions of American women to enter the male-only manufacturing workforce during WWII. Set to an original adaptation of the ’90s hit song “Dreams” by The Cranberries, she rises above her circumstances by choosing to adapt and going back to school to earn an IT degree. The story touches on many hot cultural themes, from the decline of American manufacturing to women in the IT workforce. Ultimately, it’s an empowering message that reinventing yourself is possible with a determined spirit and the right education.
Rosie the Riveter is a well-known cultural icon in the United States and a symbol of female empowerment. “We Can Do IT” is a play on the original slogan on her poster, “We Can Do It,” but in the Digital Age, instead of inspiring women to pursue a career in manufacturing, she is inspiring women to pursue a career in IT (Information Technology).
By 2020 the United States will have 1.4 million tech jobs to fill and not enough people to fill them. The industry is currently male dominated, but there are thousands of capable women who, with the right education and skills, could fill these positions. We can help reduce the skills gap within the industry by inviting women to consider a career in tech.
The animation utilized CG techniques, with Maya for animation, V-Ray for lighting/rendering, and Nuke for compositing. The impetus of the film was telling a story about real human struggle and emotion, so the task was figuring out how to get our characters to evoke the subtlety of feeling (flickers of sadness and hope) without dialogue and through their expressions. Another challenge was producing a feature-film production quality within the limited time frame of a commercial timeline. Because of the multiple-step process inherent to a CG pipeline, we had to work in an accelerated pace while maintaining the integrity of the film and the message, including: character build and design with an emphasis on diversity, crafting story beats that hit the key messages, and staying within the 60-second length and lighting dynamic setups to create the cinematic effect, but required time and R&D while up against a tight delivery.
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