Netflix Documentary Series
Chronicling the recent Stanford University study of identical twins, the series follows twin pairs: one of whom was put on a vegan, or plant-based, diet (free of meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy), while the other ate an omnivore diet (including plants, meat, and animal products). The study found that, after only eight weeks, the twins eating the plant-based diet experienced: an increase in their life expectancy; reduced visceral fat (the dangerous fat that accumulates around your organs); reduced risk of heart disease; and even a heightened sexual drive. The results surprised even the Stanford research team.
Along with the typical project collaboration we enjoy with our clients in which we establish a documentary film’s graphics aesthetic, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: A TWIN EXPERIMENT required working directly with a scientist to boil down complex scientific concepts into engaging animations easily absorbed by the audience.
Translating the science into dynamic and visually compelling animations required a delicate balance of accuracy and visual storytelling and demanded a solid understanding of the subject matter. In our process, the scientist provided invaluable insights and precise details and we then transformed complex details into digestible and visually stunning narratives seamlessly blending the realms of science and the creative needs of the series. This approach involved accurate planning for integral review and revision steps in which the scientist would help us dial in what we got right, and what we could do to better highlight the scientific point the filmmakers needed to emphasize. This proved to be an exhilarating creative endeavor and served as a testament to the power of interdisciplinary cooperation.
Additional graphics within the series were styled to be clean and thematically symmetrical, much like twins and their DNA helix. (In the main title, this was pushed even further with mirrored text.) Working across any series necessitates thinking ahead, consistency, and utilizing economies of scale because many elements are used across a series repeatedly, such as location identifiers, and lower thirds. For this project, lower thirds also required providing the audience with a quick visual identifier so they could quickly asses which twin and diet were being featured, and still have time to capture the relevant statistical information being discussed in each scene. Ultimately this was accomplished through the use of a split screen, colors, and icons representing them as plant-based or omnivore within the study.
THE VOGT FOUNDATION
Finishing by ZAP SF
Graphics by Milkhaus
Director Louie Psihoyos Executive Producers Kyle Vogt, Samara Stein Series Producer Cassandra Jabola Co-Producer Elly Schmidt-Hopper Editor Federico Rosenzvit Additional Editing Fernanda Cardoso, Dave Henry, Gina Leibrecht Director of Photography Zachary Fink Post-Production Supervisor Matt Stamm Graphics Producer Kerry Deignan Roy Lead Designer James Durée Design Chad Herschberger Lead Animator James Durée Animator Chad Herschberger, Lauren Tolfa Graphics & Animation Assistant Abigail Gibbons Executive Producer for Milkhaus Cathy Trekloff