Let There Be Light International's Health Clinic Solar-Electrification Program

Let There Be Light International


 Writers: Sarah Baird
               Alissa Benchimol
               Amanda Ullman
Producer: Sarah Baird
Design: Lori Schkufza
Storyboards: Lori Schkufza
Animation: Lori Schkufza
Voice Over: Thatcher Mweu
The Challenge

Let There Be Light International is an organization that believes in environmental and economic justice. Through various initiatives they are combatting energy poverty in vulnerable communities by providing personal solar lights for individual homes and larger solar panels to electrify community hubs like health clinics. They asked me to create an animated video highlighting their solar electrification program in rural Africa. 

The Solution
A fully animated approach allowed for telling a complete and concise narrative about the greater impacts on a community as a whole. By introducing a dedicated narrator with the character Nurse Grace, and while using existing designs, character builds and props from previous videos for Let There Be Light, I was able to illustrate the struggles that a pre-electrified clinic, and community, experiences. Nurse Grace made the narrative more personal, more pressing and provided an example of how one change can impact a community at multiple levels. 

Process and Design: Character Line up

From left to right: Man, Mother and Young Girl, Nurse Grace, Electrician.

The characters were made up from flat blocks of color, where each character had a unique colorway.* This helped to distinguish them from the backgrounds, which were more painterly and textured.  

*Nurse Grace: Blue, Electrician: Orange, Mother: Purples

Mouth shapes for Nurse Grace's lip sync.
​Rather than create mouth shapes for specific sounds, I focused more on a few open and closed shapes. 

The silhouetted crowd used deep blues and blue greens rather than blacks and grays for more depth and interest.

Using these silhouettes was also an economical solution to the challenge of populating the community without getting bogged down in detail. It allowed for the audience to be placed in the crowd and to witness the solar panel installation at the clinic.

Process and Design: Backgrounds
The background scenes were painted in Procreate and were heavily textured in order to create greater contrast between the backgrounds and the flat/graphic characters. This background acted as the main scene with the exterior of the clinic and it transitions into the clinic exterior with a camera pan (as illustrated in the still below).
The sky was a separate background element, which allowed for the animated transitions between day and night scenes.
Process and Design: Storyboard Samples

I created the storyboards in Procreate where each layer is a board. This allowed for an easy, intuitive flow from board to board and convenience as the backgrounds didn't have to be redrawn in each board. Once boards were drawn, I added the voice over for timing and notes where needed (here the notes were mostly for camera moves like the pan from the clinic exterior to interior and the room illuminating by the light of the phone). 


The video is currently being used to highlight the missions and programs that Let There Be Light International provides. It is used in tandem with an FAQ section on their website and as a tool for driving donations through various outreach outlets.   
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