The Story Behind “COVID Loop” by Yuval Haker

Back in April 2020, motion designer and illustrator Yuval Haker responded to the World Health Organization’s open call to creatives to raise COVID-19 awareness with this animation that shows the spread of infection “as one big connected system.”

Yuval Haker: “The initial style idea was sketchy and loose to accommodate the tight deadline, but I ultimately kept refining the piece and by the time I got to animating, WHO’s deadline had come and gone.

“Paid freelance work had slowed, giving me time to focus on this piece (this was nerve-racking) but after a month and a half I finally got booked (thank the good lord). That’s when I brought on talented peeps to help bring the piece to life.

“Creating a micro-world with its own set of rules helped determine narrative and action. The comic strip is a self-imposed limitation. With these hard boundaries in place, the characters could break the rules. For example, the lifter uses the comic divider for weight lifting, the punk’s frame turns into a phone, etc.

“During the animatic phase, I used a red square to keep track of where the main action was happening. Even when the viewer’s attention shifts to the next panel, the characters left in the inactive scenes keep themselves busy by sipping coffee, coughing, etc.

“Micha Gilad created the music track and used the repetitive sound of the heart rate monitor as the musical backbone and layered groovy synth, bass, and drums on top. Micha masterfully tweaked the music between every frame (techno in the gym, experimental heavy metal in the concert). The lighthearted track gradually strips away until we are left with the lone heart rate monitor.”

Watch the anmatic BTS:

COVID Loop by Yuval Haker | STASH MAGAZINE

COVID Loop by Yuval Haker | STASH MAGAZINE

COVID Loop by Yuval Haker | STASH MAGAZINE

COVID Loop by Yuval Haker | STASH MAGAZINE

Writer/illustrator/director: Yuval Haker
Animation: Arthur Guttilla, John McColgan, Yuval Haker
Music: Micha Gilad
Sound design: Arjun Sheth

Special thanks: Joelle McKenna