Animated Videos for Monticello
Sally Hemings and Madison Hemings

Surface Below Media is excited to submit a bid for the series of animated videos for Monticello.  Our specialty is documentary-style animation, giving life to stories, both historical and contemporary.  This is a project that we would be proud to work on, as we recognize the creative and educational potentials for such an important topic at Monticello, and in our country's history.  

We will be available to start working on scripts, concepts, and storyboards in October, 2017.  We will work diligently to deliver the six videos by April of 2018.   We strive for excellent communication throughout the project, unique and creative design solutions, effective storytelling, and ultimately--the satisfaction of our client.    

Please find animation/motion graphic examples of our work below, including a section of referenced videos that we are presenting as potential style-guides.  At the bottom of the page, you will find a link to the itemized bid pdf.  

Payment would consist of 1/3 of total budget upon signing of contract, with the remaining 2/3rds payable upon final deliverables.  

Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions!  Thank you,

-Ross McDermott | Director, Producer, Editor
-Dimitri Salonikios | Motion Graphics, Art Direction


Our Animation Examples:


Animation sequence for the feature-length documentary "The Twinning Reaction".


Animated video for the Wahoos for Sustainability campaign.


A snappy online book trailer for "Famous Stutterers".  


Opening title-animation sequence for a documentary about 5 photographers sent to Cuba to walk in the footsteps of Walker Evan's historic 1933 trip.


The Miller Center commissioned a series of videos depicting a president's first year.


A short, animated ode to Dimtri's grandmother, and the Greek culture that keeps them connected.

Other Examples for Style Reference:

Below, we are highlighting two animated pieces that we think could be a good style guideline for the Hemings videos.   We want to keep in mind the goals for the style and tone of the videos: Respectful, Direct and open, Moving, Engrossing, and Illuminating.  Given the rather quick turnaround time, choosing such a style will allow for us to complete each of the six videos on time.  Furthermore, as there are no historical images of Hemings, we would explore creating simplified figures with loose facial representation.  We might explore using actual models to pose for various scenes, and use the photographs to simplify them into somewhat abstracted or muted figures--like in the Hitler example below.