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Feature Film: The Legend of Swee' Pea

I'm not usually into sports docs, but this film is heartbreaking. This legend of basketball could have made it big and could have been better than Jordan except for the tragedy of his life which is unfortunately far too common.


I was honored to be able to work on this film as the primary designer and animator. For several months I was steeped in the story and tragedy of Lloyd 'Swee' Pea' Daniels and I sought to make the graphics and animations help push the story forward. There was a combination of photos, writing samples, and illustrations that we had to add motion to. We went with the motion that was similar to looking at old archived newspaper articles at the library.

I paid special attention to the scene transitions to make them feel seamless. If the shot prior to my shot had some motion in a specific direction, I would continue that motion in my shot and continue the story from there.

Later in the #postproduction process, the director decided they wanted the newspaper clippings to have a different look to the rest of the graphics. I took the initiative to design something that was distinct enough to be recognized as different, but similar in motion and style enough to feel like it lived in the same universe.

One of the first things they asked me to do was to take these illustrations and add life to them. Just short of animating the characters, I added life to the scenes by splitting the layers, colors, and #lineart up and animating them in 3D space.

All in all, there were almost 50 shots I made for this hour and a 20-minute #featurefilm. Please take the time to watch it now available on Amazon Prime or also on Vimeo.

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