James Patterson | The House of Kennedy – Timeline of Tragedy

A 3D animated book promo for James Patterson’s thrilling biography of the Kennedy family

In our time working with James Patterson, we’ve received few books as enthralling as The House of Kennedy. The story of the Kennedy family isn’t secret, but seeing the sordid past laid out before you is truly gut-wrenching. That’s the inspiration behind the “Timeline of Tragedy.” 

We wanted to make the iconic moments from the Kennedy history feel fresh, just as they are in the book. We knew we had to span a long period for our timeline to work, and that we had to find famous, recognizable events. But, even with those criteria, winnowing down the candidates was no easy task! The Kennedys have almost too many wild and, frankly, horrible stories to choose from. 

Once we’d made our selections, we turned to our visuals. Our biggest hurdle? We couldn’t license the images of the events we chose! After much deliberation, we decided to replicate the images with hand-drawn original takes. Enter: artists-in-residence Anneli Brown and Seth Johnson. Their style mimicked that of courtroom sketch artists, lending the images a sinister air that synergized (legally) with our concept.

To ramp up the tension, we replicated newscasts from the times the events took place. We found our reporters amongst ECG’s own staff, who recorded their best newsie impressions and sent them to audio engineer Joe DiCosola. Joe blended them together into a chilling chorus of the macabre, accompanying Trey Gregory’s voiceover and building tension throughout the trailer.

The team effort makes this spot a favorite here at ECG, despite the bleak subject matter. And did we mention? We pulled it all together in less than two weeks! Now, that’s what we call a shocking revelation.

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