Next Tuesday, our animation for StoryCorps will begin airing on the PBS documentary program POV (check your local listings). The first episode follows the amazing love story of Danny and Annie Perasa, from their very first date to the last week of Danny’s life. Over our next few posts, we’ll give a behind-the-scenes look at the production of “Danny and Annie”.
As with all our StoryCorps work, we started “Danny and Annie” with research. It was the first time ever that we visited the home of a subject in our animation. The majority of the story takes place in the Perasa’s Brooklyn apartment, so it was particularly important to gather good reference so that we could depict their home authentically on screen. We took photos of everything; the bedroom, the kitchen, the exterior of their apartment, and even their knick-knacks. Sometimes the photos were just used as inspiration, but other times we used them more directly.
The best part of the visit was talking to Annie. She is one of the greatest storytellers you could ask for. She shared lots of her favorite stories and memories of Danny. Those stories helped us better understand who she and Danny were as a couple, and gave us helpful details we were able to use in the animation. For instance, the drinks we show them with on their first date—Annie with wine and Danny with whiskey—are the drinks they actually had that night. Annie also showed us a photo album from their wedding, which we referenced on screen.
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