Season One March – July 2020
Season Two September 2020 – January 2021
Factual Entertainment Web Series
Client: Legacy Vision Media
David Lockhart travels across the globe, highlighting those empowering their communities – all in the name of rock and roll!
Born out of a time when travel was unfortunately unwise and outright banned by several destinations, Empower the Planet World Tour aimed to bring some excitement to audiences stuck at home across the globe by sharing some of David Lockhart’s travels and encounters. With the first episode quickly gaining over 10,000 views, the series ended up spanning 16 episodes, virtually visiting visiting four continents across the globe, and racking up over 150,000 views.
Far from an educational show, Empower the Planet World Tour instead took the path of ‘entertainment first, education second’, with episodes frequently touching upon the mysticism surrounding Robert The Bruce’s dealings with an ancient artifact known as The Lee Penny. David Lockhart himself is a descendant of Sir Simon Locard of Lee, a warrior who rescued The Lee Penny from the clutches of the Spanish in 1329 AD and brought it back to Scotland for burial.
Every week the series takes audiences to a new location – in season one we visited Scotland, Japan, Spain, and Egypt. Each location provided a diverse array of content to explore, with Japan’s episodes focussing on a café dedicated to educating about the Hiroshima atomic attack whilst Spain’s shed light on a historical re-enactment festival in Teba. Each episode features interviews with key persons of interest and tie in with Lockhart’s broader interests in the great mythology surrounding the Lee Penny.
DAVID RE-ENACTS DOUGLAS’ DAYS AT A FESTIVAL IN TEBA, SPAIN | S1E4
There was no ‘formula’ used across the episodes, and each feature segments unique to them. One of my favourite moments occurs in Episode 4, when the series suddenly pretends to be a historical drama. Through cinematic photography and captivating performances we’re brought back to a critical historical scene in which the Lee Penny is handed over to Simon Locard, played in this instance by David Lockhart. It’s a thoroughly entertaining few minutes, and serves to really bring to life the moment at which Lockhart’s ancestors earned their place in the history books.
Near the end of season one we released a three-part special, delving deeper into Lockhart’s fascination and globe-trotting research in uncovering the mystery of the Lee Penny. Although light on facts, these three episodes are certainly the most entertaining. As David opens up to the camera on several occasions, audiences can really start to root for him and the mysteries he hopes to uncover. With help from a few Scotsmen, David and gang gather together to meet at the exact spot of the Battle of Bannockburn at the precise time of its 700th anniversary. Here David taps into his spiritual faculties as he takes in the sheer wonder of the time and location in which he finds himself.
MY FAVOURITE EPISODE, THE FIRST OF THE 3 ‘MYSTERIES OF THE WORLD’ SPECIALS | S1E7
The trickiest thing about producing Empower The Planet was the fact that we couldn’t go out and shoot – we had to rely solely on footage that had already been shot. Although initially challenging, luckily we had access to a large variety of material and so we were able to pinpoint the stories in each and build the episodes around these accordingly. I’m quite proud with how the season turned out; it’s obviously very light-hearted and doesn’t set out to answer any profound questions – and some episodes even manage to be about almost literally nothing. But I think this is what gives it its charm and makes it enjoyable to watch – you feel a certain comfort with Lockhart as he glides through interesting locations, introducing audiences to mysteries with theories largely embedded in fiction. These mysteries aren’t solved within the episodes – and that was never the goal; instead we enjoyed being a companion to Lockhart as he explored and experienced a part of history that has captivated him ever since he can remember, and hopefully captivates us at least for the duration of the episode, and maybe even for a few moments after.
Due to the small problem of a deadly disease raging across the globe we were unfortunately unable to go out and about with a camera and thus had to simply make do with ready-made footage. Largely this worked rather well, but occasionally we needed something more – and the best way to create something more without a camera was to create it digitally. This, coupled with the fact that each and every episode would need unique motion graphics and visuals to give the show its identity meant that I suddenly had quite a chunk of work on my plate and had to embark on designing a motion graphics package.
Frequently featuring over the top motion graphics and effects, the visuals aim to heighten the playful and light-hearted tone of the show, sometimes bringing to life ancient historical battles, and other times just providing good old Rock ‘n Roll eye-candy.
The vast majority of graphics and effects were created within After Effects, with a small number complemented by materials created with Adobe Illustrator. With some of the scenes featuring high-resolution 3D models, rendering out the assets was often a lengthy process in which my computer temporarily assumed the identity of a miniature jet engine – furiously pumping out heat so that it may progress further with its rendering duties.
Opening titles of any show set the tone and lay out the track for what’s to come. It was key that Empower the Planet’s titles got audiences riled up in a good mood, ready to experience the adventure to come.
With David’s Hollywood background and position as the rock and roll actor, I thought it only right that the opening titles thematically reflect this, featuring numerous references to movies and rock culture.
Featuring the Universal Studios logo remake
Featuring the 20th Century Fox logo remake
Throughout the show we’re introduced to various characters and places – all of whom need a proper introduction. Therefore, countless chyrons, titles, and motion graphic overlays were created. Each were carefully crafted to uphold the style of the show so you can expect to see the signature Empower The Planet text-on-fire look across the board.
As we encounter all sorts of people and places, it’s a good idea to let your audience know exactly who or what they’re dealing with. Throughout Empower The Planet episodes you’ll come across chyrons – a selection of which can be seen here. In the actual episodes these are animated in, with the ring of fire leading the way before the black box and text follow behind.
They follow closely with the Rock ‘n Roll style of ETP – the fire being a recurring motif throughout that helps remind audiences that they’re watching the one and only David Lockhart in Empower the Planet World Tour.
A bit grander than the humble chyron, location titles were in Futura Bold typeface and surrounded by the ETP fire that we all know and love by this point. Notice how the fire was complemented with cherry blossom for the Japanese episodes. You can also see the title graphic that was created for the three-part Mysteries of the World special.
Shows these days are nothing without a spot of social media promotion sending audiences their way – and Empower the Planet was no different. I re-created and adapted the Universal Studios and 20th Century Fox sequences of the opening titles to Instagram feed and story formats. And when we reached 100,000 YouTube views I created a celebratory Instagram feed video to mark the achievement.
The social media interstitials were repurposed to fit their various Instagram formats and also featured built-in flexibility to allow for changing the tune-ins, enabling us to roll out the spots on specific days with specific times, such as ”New Episode Thursday’ or ‘New Episode Tonight’.
A shiny token of thanks to audiences and David Lockhart himself for bravely backing the series, made to celebrate passing the milestone of 100,000 views on YouTube.