New: Black Earth Rising

“BBC and Netflix’s new series Black Earth Rising follows the story of Kate Ashby – a young woman who was rescued as a child during the Rwandan genocide and raised in London by a criminal prosecution lawyer.” – Creative Review.
Writer/director/producer Hugo Blick tasked the amazing Studio AKA with creating hand-drawn animations to recount Kate’s memories of the genocide.


Studio AKA director Steve Small wanted a black-and-white painterly feel, inspired by the content and emotive nature of memories. The animations were created using a mix of CGI, rotoscoping and line drawings.

He explains, “A lot of these stories illustrate that events that are almost retold or recalled in shock and in that sense, I felt that colour might either over-dramatise the sequence or it might distract. We took away details if we didn’t need them.”
Also, this (also from CR):
“It’s rare to see animation play a key role in primetime drama…Yet in some ways, it’s surprising animation hasn’t been used more in drama – particularly in series that deal with dark and difficult subject matter. As the sequences in Black Earth Rising show, animation can do something live action can’t. It can offer up a glimpse of an event – encouraging viewers to use their imagination to complete the picture – and that can be a powerful thing.”
I’ve seen many great examples of independent animations used in exactly this way, but it’s true they are not presented as/to mainstream.
I look forward to watching on Netflix once it’s released.

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