ABC News Democratic debate : screen design by K Brandon Bell

ABC News Democratic Debate : set animations & screen designs

I’m thrilled to have just completed a ton of work with ABC News on the third Democratic Debate, broadcast live on Sept 12, 2019.

I worked with University of Memphis Graphic Design junior E. Marshall to complete animations for over 13 LED & laser projection surfaces, including screens behind the candidates, in the podiums, in the moderators’ desk, in the corner of the set, on a side “hero” screen, extremely long screens running along the sides of the room, the ceiling, and various walls through the venue. I met with ABC throughout August to create the final looks, and Marshall & I then spent a week at Texas Southern University in Houston, finalizing on site at the debate venue.

We created animated graphics for 13 different screen surfaces within the custom-built set at Texas Southern University. The debate featured presidential hopefuls Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

See here for more beinhd-the-scenes photos.

You can watch the full debate here.

Read more about this project in The Daily Memphian.

National Geographic TV - Meth Map

Map Animations for National Geographic TV

Two very fast-turnaround animated map graphics for National Geographic. The first one indicates how methamphetamine use spread across the US, and the second shows the directions of meth smuggling routes.

The maps were animated in After Effects using custom smoke generated by Trapcode’s Particular plugin.

Created in sweaty partnership with Baker+Hill.

MEM200 video shoot : photo by Sélavie Photography

Projection Design for the City of Memphis’s Bicentennial Celebration

This project started with some very fast-turnaround motion design & projections created for the Memphis Brand Initiative‘s fund raiser with the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce at the beautiful Old Dominick distillery in downtown Memphis. This was a test event: basically a proof-of-concept in advance of a larger project for the City of Memphis Bicentennial celebration throughout 2019.

The City of Memphis celebrates its 200th birthday in May, with Shelby County following in November. MBI’s concept was to stage surprise pop-up installations all around town and into the county, spotlighting some Memphians of this next century. We solicited nominations and directed a full-day video shoot at VIA Productions, DP’ed by Ryan Earl Parker, with stills taken by Sélavie Photography. From here, we created a large batch of motion graphics-activated video that we could project onto walls throughout the area.

University of Memphis Graphic Design students Chad Malone & the mononymous Marshall helped create some of the motion graphics media we used, and 9 other students from around the Department of Art were instrumental in making the actual projections happen. In May 2019 alone, we’re doing 27 separate activations on Friday & Saturday evenings. You can read more about it here, via Memphis’s daily newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

The students who went out into the field to zap those buildings with projected video at night, are: Lauren McFerrin, Marshall, Lockard Simpkins, Bruno Guerrero, Ethan McVay, Gustavo Espino, Cheryiah Hill, Aubrey Ford, Amani Figgs & Moises Martinez.

The video is a quick breakdown of some of the Nov 2018 test graphics, with MUSIC BY DAZ RINKO, who performed at that event.

You can check out a beautiful gallery of photos from the video shoot here.

And…more photos from Nov 2018 here

Projection design for Opera Memphis | by K Brandon Bell & University of Memphis Graphic Design students

Projection Design for Opera Memphis Festival

This is an ongoing educational project with Opera Memphis, involving Graphic Design students at the University of Memphis. The full-length opera The Falling & The Rising was the subject this year–it’s a beautiful piece about our soldiers and the sacrifices they make. And…it’s the first opera co-commissioned by the United States Army.

Read more about the 2019 Midtown Opera Festival project here.

Last year (2018), the screens were designed through the endeavors of University of Memphis graphic design students Chad Malone, Cassie Farrier & Parks Perdue. They and Professor Gary Golightly worked alongside me to create stage projections for Opera Memphis’ Midtown Opera Festival.

In 2018, it was a pretty intense project, giving us only 2 weeks to design, build, and program projections for 6 pieces.

2018 photos by Sélavie Photography

Ken Olberman ESPN set graphics

Misc. Film & TV

This is a collection of various television- & film-based work I’ve done over the years. From Bravo to TLC to ESPN, these are projects that aren’t otherwise represented in my portfolio.

It includes:

VFX for film featuring Justin Timberlake & NBA all-stars

Special Effects for Memphis Grizzlies Short Film

Video special effects for the Memphis Grizzlies’ film “Mike Conley: Our Conductor” by Craig Brewer, featuring Justin Timberlake & NBA all-stars.

The Memphis Grizzlies just released the new short film by director Craig Brewer, entitled “Mike Conley: Our Conductor”. I’m proud to have been a part of it, creating video effects on a very tight deadline ahead of its premiere. The challenge was to meticulously remove a series of very bright lightboxes from behind the dancers, rebuilding moving body parts that had been blown out by intense back-lighting. In the end, you’d never know that the lightboxes had been there.

From the Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal:

The Grizzlies wooed free agent Mike Conley on Monday with a Craig Brewer-directed short film on the team’s website that featured Justin Timberlake — and added a third G-word to the team’s vocabulary.

Grit and grind, make way for grace.

The two-minute, 44-second film brought together basketball and the arts, with Grizzlies players Tony Allen, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol co-starring with ballet dancers and jookers, the Grizz Line drum line and a symphony orchestra.

And here it is on

Animations & motion graphics for Crosstown Concourse documentary film

Animations for Documentary Film

Animations & motion graphics for Crosstown Concourse documentary film.

Some University of Memphis Department of Art students & I were a part of this documentary, put together *almost* single-handedly by Justin Thompson of Crosstown Arts.

We were responsible for animating a big ol’ pile of static historical images to bring them to life in the film. It’s so great to see it all come together so beautifully. Congrats to UofM students Catherine Knowles, Ben Ardon, and Kaitlyn Hoover for the beautiful work, and to Crosstown Concourse on the incredible new space!

The full documentary on the transformation of the massive (and formerly dilapidated) Sears Crosstown building into Crosstown Concourse, that originally aired on Opening Day is now available online. Thanks to Justin Thompson, Director of Video Production at Crosstown Arts, for pouring the last six years of his life into this film.

CROSSTOWN CONCOURSE from Crosstown Arts on Vimeo.

BR2 - logo design & animation for Craig Brewer's production company

Logo Redesign & Motion Graphics

Production company logo design & animation for film director Craig Brewer’s BR2 Productions.

This was a very fast-paced but rewarding project: updating film director Craig Brewer’s  production company logo, and then animating it for the screen.

The existing logo was still solid but just needed a little “something” to make it more modern, and we didn’t want to completely throw out the old animation either. In hearing more about the origins of the name, I wanted to visually incorporate a sense of its history: it came from accounting form boxes used to reference theater productions by Craig & his father. The 2 Brewers, hence BR2.

In addition to modernizing the typography and referencing legal documents, there was a need to make the final animation FAST.

Ashley Furniture Craft Store : fully animated promo

Animated Promo for the Craft Store Portal

For my friends at VIA Productions, I animated a promotional video for Ashley Homestore’s Craft Store portal.

This was a fun project!

TED Talks Live Set Graphics

Screen Graphics for Live Broadway Events & Televised PBS Special

I am very proud to have worked as screen producer and designer for this 6-night series of live TED Talks on Broadway, which took place Nov. 1-6, 2015 at NYC’s beautiful Town Hall theater in Times Square. Seth Easter Design did the physical set and handled all the LED details, Sarah Rossi Photography shot a bunch of custom images for the show, animator Dan Baker helped out with custom motion graphics, and I worked closely again with Peter Acken as he programmed the show content in the media server.

PBS began airing the talks in three primetime specials starting March 30, 2016.

Watch “TED Talks: Education Revolution” (aired Sept 13, 2016)
Watch “TED Talks: War & Peace” (aired May 30, 2016)
Watch “TED Talks: Science & Wonder” (aired March 30, 2016)

The themes were Education Revolution, War & Peace, and Science & Wonder, and featured speakers and performers such as Elvis Costello, Anna Deavere Smith, Chris Anderson, Adam Driver, Meshell Ndegeocello, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, Thomas Dolby, and others from NASA, Pixar, DARPA, MIT, Radiolab, Stanford and more.

Animations for the World Bank

Animations for World Bank

Animated promos for the World Bank, created with illustrations by the incomparable Clint Baker. We created 6 in total and turned them around quickly in order to meet really tight deadlines.

TED Talks education screen designs

TED Talks Education Set Graphics

Screen Graphics for Televised PBS Special

I produced & built After Effects- based digital screen graphics for TED’s very first broadcast, filmed live at Brooklyn’s BAM Harvey Theater. I worked closely with set designers Seth Easter Design to create a customized show look and a series of motion & still graphics to help TED move from stage to screen.

Hosted by John Legend and featuring speakers such as Bill Gates & Sir Ken Robinson, this groundbreaking program aired on PBS (courtesy of NYC’s WNET) in May 2013.

Watch the whole thing online now.
Robin Hood Foundation : live interactive data visualization

Robin Hood Foundation Live Graphics

Live Interactive Motion Graphics 2009, 2010 & 2011

For 3 consecutive years I implemented custom live solutions for this incredible charity event.

In partnership with Brian Oakes Design and Robin Hood, this series of applications was created for the Robin Hood Foundation’s Gala charity extravaganza, held at NYC’s Javits Center.

The challenge was to develop remotely-controlled motion graphics that could display live event information on a series of 20-foot projection screens. As attendees donated their money and/or time, the results were displayed on demand, in real time, through these custom apps.

More info on the first event >>

Tony Awards Virtual Sets

65th, 66th, 67th, 68th & 69th Annual Tonys :
Live-Controlled Scenic Animations & Motion Graphics

For 5 years, my team & I photographed the theater sets for nominees & built custom virtual video sets for the Tony Awards broadcast, allowing the performing shows detailed control over every aspect of the scenery, live during the show.

Tonys 2015 photo gallery >>

For the five Tony Awards ceremonies from 2011-2015, I was tasked with digitally recreating and animating theater sets that were manipulated live during broadcast, for each of the performing nominees.

My team & I started the process by shooting thousands of photos (and several gigs of reference video) inside the various theaters, in order to capture lighting changes and set elements. The photos were then carefully mined for textures and scenic pieces that are needed. Finally, the finished video-based “sets” are painstakingly constructed from this large bank of imagery and then animated in After Effects and Cinema 4D to the specifications of the director, set & lighting designers.

Lots of hard work and long hours were put into separating & layering the video content so that we could do things like dynamically shift hues and cue lighting & set changes during the performances. Sarah Rossi & Dallas Raleigh shot a BUNCH of custom images for the show, and Dan Baker was always a huge help with creating the sets and animations. Genius programming by Peter “Evil Jesus” Acken.


We made content for 13 performances & many more segments for 2015:

A photo gallery for the 2015 Tonys production can be found here.


All in all, my team & I completed content for 15 performances & segments for 2014:

A photo gallery for the Tonys 2014 can be found here.


In 2013 we completed content for 13 performances & segments:


And we created content for 13 performances & segments for 2012:

You can see a highlight video of 2012 set designs and performances here.


And the previous year, we completed content for 10 shows for 2011:

Art Direction by Seth Easter Design, Set Design by Hasbas.

National Geographic Video Animations

Video animations explaining the evolutionary process of Sexual Selection to visitors of the Washington DC National Geographic Museum.

Part 1 is presented as a loop at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC and is followed later in the exhibit by the on-demand Part 2.

Baker & Hill created the beautiful and whimsical illustrations.