Joseph Gordon-Levitt and TruScribe: Hitting Record … on TV

At TruScribe, we love to celebrate the work that our staff creates, both in and outside of the office. We’re proud to announce that one of our former artists, Carli Ihde, has just received an Emmy for her contribution to the artist-focused program, HitRECord on TV. We sat down with Carli to talk about her experience collaborating on the program and what lessons she’s brought back to her work at TruScribe.

TruScribe: Tell me a bit about your work with HitRECord on TV:

Carli: HitRECord is an online collaborative community full of artists from all over the world, and we come together and we create little short segments for a variety show that is on Pivot called HitRECord on TV. In the first Season, I animated and contributed still images. I did a few things for music videos throughout the show and I also sang in the show as well. I worked on Season 1 and Season 2, and Season One won the Emmy.

TS: What was the Emmy for, specifically?

C: We won for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media.

TS: When did you find out about the award?

C: Actually, we knew about it a year ago; we found out about it along time ago. They just recently sent out certificates to anyone that worked on the first season of the TV show. So, we all were told that we won Emmy’s but it took quite a long time to pass out certificates to everyone, to congratulate and thank everybody for contributing to the Emmy-winning season.

TS: So, what was your favorite piece that you created?

C: For Season One, my favorite piece that I worked on was a music video for a song called “Adieu”, written by my good friend, Joe Rudd, who performed it. The whole music video was made up of rotoscope animations done by different members of the community.

An example sequence from Carli’s rotoscoping of HitRECord host, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

TS: Tell me a bit more about rotoscoping:

C: Rotoscope animation is when you take a video and you separate it into frames. Then you do an animation illustration over each frame, and when put together, it is a flowing animation. Actually, it’s a really common practice in Disney and Pixar!  A bunch of members of the community got together for the “Adieu” music video. But, it was kind of cool because I’ve had years and years of practice in rotoscope beforehand, so they specifically reached out to me for really GIANT sections. *laughs*. So, it took over 80 hours to accomplish what I had done just for the short music video. That was my favorite because I put A LOT of work into it.

TS: So, 80 hours for how many minutes of footage? 

C: Probably not even a minute! In total, about thirty seconds of animation. It was line work as well as coloring. Just for that segment, one single animation was 89 drawings, and that was 10 seconds [of footage].

TS: What did you learn the most from working on these projects with HitRECord?

C: Especially with working on projects like rotoscope, where it is a really long process, you learn patience. But you also learn that there are two types of people: There are people that see it and appreciate it, but won’t bother to acknowledge the work that goes into it. And there’s another type of people who REALLY SEE what you’ve done — that’s who I play to in the rotoscope that I do. People who not only appreciate it, but really see it for what it is. And, you have to go back to patience, you really need a lot of it.

TS: What would you say that it’s added to your skills as a TruScribe Artist and what are you going to bring back to your work at TruScribe after all of this?

C: Well, it was a good experience working and collaborating, because I not only collaborated with the musician Joe Rudd, I collaborated with HitRECord and the leaders of the [HitRECord] community, but I also worked with the other animators in the music video. It was interesting collaborating with the same people that you were working FOR. Which is the same aspect as my work at TruScribe. At TruScribe, it’s all collaborative, so you’re collaborating with your clients directly; it’s a really similar experience.

TS: Was it a nice change of pace to stretch your artistic legs in a different direction?

C: Yeah, I absolutely love rotoscope animation, but because of the time that it takes but — not that it has a small audience, because people enjoy watching it — these days with a lot of digital animation, it’s not as common as it used to be. It’s really cool to be able to get the chance to be paid for something that takes that long, get it out there so people can see it, and put my name on something that no one else does in the style that I do it.

TS: Where can people see more of your rotoscoping work?

C: Currently, I have an exhibition at the Bubbler, an art gallery in the Madison Public Library. So all of my animations are playing on repeat on the big screens throughout the library, but if you aren’t near Wisconsin, just Google my name, and since I’m the only person with my name, I’m easy to find! And, the first season of HitRECord is on Netflix, so you can watch my animations as well as the work of thousands of other artists.

Congrats to Carli on her Emmy-winning contributions!

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