Mockingbird: Capturing "Essence" Through Video Artwork

Written by Angela Cason, Videographer 

Capturing the essence of a story in visuals is always an exciting challenge. In approaching the video artwork for Matt Rawle’s The Faith of a Mockingbird series, I knew I wanted to honor To Kill a Mockingbird in a way that pulled together elements that were at the foundation of my love for Harper Lee’s classic. For me that was the story itself, the words on the page; the voice behind the tale, Scout; and some of the most loved characters of all time — Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. So words, the view of a child, and characters who have touched countless lives. Did I mention an exciting challenge?

I decided that any motion graphics I created for the series would be very rough illustrations. I wanted viewers to have the sense maybe a child, like Scout, illustrated these silhouettes of these characters. Harper Lee’s story is the backdrop of this series, so I wanted her words present not just in the scenes of the video but also in the characters themselves. And then incorporating those characters by illustrating the moments of the story that resonate most with me: Atticus love for his children and his compassion for Tom Robinson, and the mystery of Boo leaving gifts for the Finch children.

Matt’s series inspired me to view the story and the characters in a new light, through a lens of faith. In storyboarding, I wanted to convey something Matt expresses in this series – that God is working in us and through us at all times, that God is always present (even in classic literature like To Kill a Mockingbird). Birds have long been used as Christian symbols, so what better way to illustrate God’s presence in this story and all our stories than with a mockingbird that flies in and out of each scene?

Once I found that inspiration and scripted the message of the video, the storyboarding, illustration and animation just seemed to flow and fall into place. Spiritual truths are all around us, even in beloved books and films, and working on The Pop In Culture series has really opened my eyes to finding God in the most interesting (and creative) places.