Storytelling is everything to us. We thrive on challenges, like turning a complex concept into an easy to understand and enjoyable viewing experience. When the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) approached us with the concept of educating the citizens of Metro-Detroit about their water system we knew this project was the perfect match for our teams. In the end, we created a mini-documentary that blends both interviews and animation to tell the story of our amazing wastewater system.

What happens below us in the sewers is a mystery to most people, including us. We had a lot of learning to do! We worked closely with the teams at Wade-Trim and GLWA to craft a script that accurately represented the process of handling wastewater and the people behind it. 

Whether it’s everyday wastewater, severe weather conditions such as excessive rain and flooding, or sewer backups – understanding how GLWA monitors and handles these types of events was a big part of the story. We didn’t rely only on diagrams and schematics. To help us truly appreciate the hard work that goes into treating our wastewater we toured all of the major pumping stations throughout Detroit. This gave us a greater understanding of the process of handling wastewater, and an opportunity to engage with the folks who keep our system running everyday.

The water and sewer system is truly an amazing thing, but the people behind this system are the ones who make GLWA what it is – and we think this documentary shows that.

Client: Wade-Trim, Great Lakes Water Authority
Producers: Amy Unger, Collen Vail, Curtis Burris-White (GLWA)
Creative Direction: Ryan Simpson, Andre Foster, Guy Allen
Cel Animation: Jessica Rowden, Watty Watkins
2D Animation: Jamie Lyons, Andre Foster, Guy Allen,
3D Animation: Andre Foster, Dillan Murillo
Design & Illustration: Joe Dao
Videography: Three Words
Script: Gail Offen, First Fight
Sound Design: Sanctus, First Fight