When Dateline NBC needed animation for a recent segment, producers approached Jason Anderson (BFA 2006 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) and his Brooklyn-based design and animation company SAYKUUS with the request for “something very unique.” Their task was to produce animation that would aid in telling the story behind the book The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America (St. Martin’s Press, 2009) by John Lahutsky. Anderson and his team recreated scenes from the childhood of a Russian boy afflicted with cerebral palsy who was confined to institutions along with numerous other disabled and abandoned children until his miraculous adoption by an American woman.
Anderson said the first step in the process was the storyboard, which was created based on photographs and videos. Lahutsky, the subject of the Dateline segment, helped the animation team understand the story better so the visuals would be more realistic. The episode, which aired on April 10, along with other exclusive Web clips, are available on the Dateline NBC Web site.