"Teaming" production journal


Animated High-Fives and Teamwork


High-fives and fist-bumps have always been a great celebratory expression of teamwork within sports, so why not also in the healthcare setting?

The objective of my latest animation was to highlight the importance of teamwork within the aging and disabled healthcare community. Partnered with the Long-Term Care Educational Foundation, my idea was to feature a short series of high-fives and fist-bumps (aka "daps") being exchanged among members of a medical and social service team, all celebrating a successful doctors appointment with their patient- Gramma Lois. 

Gramma's Care Team (left-right) - nurse, physicians assistant, doctor, physical therapist, social worker 

When looking for high-five and fist-bump inspiration, I used the "This is Sports Centercommercial where Robinson Cano walks around the ESPN office, high-fiving staff members the same way he does his Yankee teammates.

What I enjoyed about this were the intricacies of the high-fives and how well they were executed. Each exchange, different than the other, was done with such confidence they gave the impression of a well-run team working together. The familiarity between Cano and his co-workers was what I wanted to convey among the medical team and Lois in my animation.

While animating and illustrating, another commercial that caught my attention was the WatchESPN "Clutch" campaign from 72andSunny. The idea was two guys high-fiving and celebrating how "clutch" it was to be able to watch college hoops anytime via their WatchESPN app. As simple as it is, it's one of my favorite commercials outside ESPN's "This Is Sportscenter" campaign.

The style in which the commercial's high-fives and fist-bumps were animated resembled what I had in mind for the Teaming animation- short, simple movements with the detail being in the routine. Pictured below are members of the medical and social service team exchanging a fist-bump in the hallway, and Gramma Lois checking-out with the receptionist.

Nurse and Doctor exchanging daps

Gramma Lois and the Receptionist celebrating a good doctors appointment

Physical Therapist and Doctor locking-it-up

It was important that the routines be detailed enough where there was some variety in the hand-shakes and daps. With eight characters there was a lot to cover, but that made room for more to choose from. Below are some early sketches/storyboards where you can see some of the early ideas coming together- leg daps did not make the cut, unfortunately. 

Storyboard sketch - detail on the action

Storyboard sketch- character blocking

Storyboard sketch - detail page-turn motion

Layered wireframe image of Reception desk

Whether it's sports, health care or any other industry, high-fives and fist-bumps will always been viewed as a celebratory gesture. It is in the details of the exchange where you notice the essence of teamwork. With each unique routine comes a pride in something practiced and perfected over time.

The next time you watch a baseball or basketball game, keep an eye-out for the high-fives and fist-bumps exchanged among teammates and coaches. You may notice more teamwork going-on behind the action than you think.