Last weekend E:60 debuted a brand-new season of originals featuring a “Tell Me A Story” segment by actor/comedian Chris Tucker. In the segment, Tucker shares a story about the first time LeBron James attended the performer’s church in Los Angeles.
Like many of the “Tell Me a Story” segments, there is rarely video to accompany what the subject is describing. That’s when the E:60 team turns to lead post-production editor Leon Belt. Although he usually works in production operations, Belt was recruited for his illustration skills – most recently, for the Tucker piece.
“This animated short really encapsulates all of the artistic strides we have made in less than a year, as well as all of the technological advances,” said Belt. “We pulled together a great team of people including background designer Justin Linde, and editors like Tom Beers, Adam Schaub, Jeff Arais, Rob Labay and Rob McNicholas.”
“Leon’s illustrations make a story more fun and easier to understand. He’s able to make a far-fetched story more believable,” said E:60 associate producer Blake Foeman. “Great ideas come naturally to him and he’s constantly thinking outside the box for ways to enhance these short stories.”
Foeman and Belt have collaborated on a few “Tell Me A Story” segments in the last year.
“Last March I pitched the ‘Tell Me A Story’ E:60 managers and I produced two non-animated stories,” said Foeman. “Then I found the Carlos Boozer story. I knew there was no footage for us to use and Leon had a background in animation. So, before I interviewed Boozer, I reached out to Leon to see if he would be interested in teaming up on this project. He was excited about the opportunity and immediately started sketching images of Prince and Boozer.”
Belt says it’s been great working with the E:60 team he loves the creative freedom he’s been given to illustrate their stories.
“Sometimes, it’s challenging to find just the right joke or punchline to make each piece connect with the viewer in roughly two minutes,” Belt said. “I try to push the quality of the storytelling; whether that means using programs like Adobe Character Animator to assist with animating a character’s dialogue or utilizing 3D software like Cinema 4D to achieve a more realistic look for objects like cars. But if you show people something different and they like it, everyone gets behind your idea to make it a reality.”