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ProPublica: Abusing Roth IRA as A Billion-Dollar Tax Shelter

In June of 2021, I was contacted by a producer at ProPublica that they had a video they needed to create to explain a complex topic as part of a series of articles about tax loopholes that ultra wealthy people were taking advantage of. One video in the series had already been completed. But, this would still be its own stand alone video. So, we had to begin with a storyboard. We had several rounds of storyboarding as we slowly developed the color scheme for this as well as the concept. The basic premise in the client brief was "Let's make it feel like a game of 'Mario Karts' but with piggy banks instead". So, at first the piggy banks were facing sideways and always pink. But, through multiple iterations, we eventually had the piggy banks facing away from the screen and driving off into the distance, and had some golden piggy banks included as well.

After the storyboard was complete, we went right into animation, as there was no plan to cut the script any further. Multiple journalists and video producers had already edited and approved the script, so the voiceover was finalized and we began animating the video. Due to the tight timeline, a music track was provided by the client along with sound effects. In less than four weeks, the entire project was complete and went live to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and the ProPublica website. It immediately got thousands of views. And Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted the video out to her followers. The video went on to win multiple awards, including an Emmy-Nomination for Art Direction.




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