During production of the film, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, director Timur Bekmambetov, wanted to create an interactive graphic novel that depicted different accounts of vampire activity during the reign of Abraham Lincoln. Tony Sella, Fox President & Chief Creative Officer with Ira Rubenstein, EVP of Digital Theatrical Marketing and Oren Aviv, President and Chief Marketing Officer, wanted this project to be as powerful as the film. Jeffrey Kelly, the digital creative lead at Fox, took the project to Trigger because he knew that the Trigger creative team was able to take the sketches given to them by Timur and make the graphic novel into something that truly breathed.
The success of this project is evidence to the third FWA win for 20th Century Fox this year and Trigger’s third FWA overall. Fox’ two previous FWA's and two Gold Key Arts for the Prometheus Campaign were led by Amy Cohen and Jeffrey Kelly. Trigger received A Webby for District 9 along with several Key Art Awards.
Jeffrey Kelly and Anthony Palacios, VP and Creative Director of Trigger, were the perfect fit to collaborate on this digital graphic novel. Both the Trigger and Fox teams are comprised of perfectionists that would work to push the team and the technology to deliver.
The art team created four episodes to fully give readers the spirit of the film by recreating the mood and setting. Adobe Suite & Illustrator and Photoshop were the main tools used for the creative process from start to finish. Working with color and format, Trigger worked with artists that brought the story to life. For example, needing to make a vampire swipe at a soldier, the team had only one frame of that shot that was turned into two additional frames to create the illusion of a sweeping motion.
When creating the final product, Kelly wanted to ensure that the artwork Timur provided was presented in the best way possible. Trigger delivered an experience that was engaging and told the story in a unique and dynamic way.
Creative questions such as, “What if the blood splattered this way?” and “What if the bodies floated up the screen?” were always answered during creating the process. Trigger succeeded in taking the initial animations from Timur and with Jeffrey’s feedback exceeded the overall expectations through fluid and striking animation and additional supporting animations.
Adapting to Changes:
With the ever changing and evolving world of technology, all the nuances of the technology had to be pushed out by the creative team for an amazing digital-novel. The many facets of technology provided challenges that the Trigger team had to address.
As Anthony Palacios, VP and Creative Director of Trigger states, “Users are moving to the mobile platform and ideally we want to deliver the same experience that they have come to expect from their desk top computer. Our thought process was that as more users migrate to mobile devices, it was vital for us to create as rich of an experience on their tablets or phone as our audience would find on their desktops.”
Thinking of the Fans:
Both the Trigger team and Fox were excited about the graphic novel and knew if they could hit their target market, the fans would in turn share it and spread it virally and drive more to the film. Palacios claims, “We knew that hardcore fans of the story would be interested and so it was important for Trigger and Fox to create a digital experience that was true to the story and did justice with the source material.”