For the past eight years, Scott Franklin has been a key member of the Parade Guys, building floats each season for the Chinese New Year Parade. “I really like seeing the floats take shape. Starting off with a blank flatbed and seeing them being built over time until they are finished is really cool,” said Scott. “What I looked forward to the most was the last days of the build when we are doing last-minute touch-ups. It’s the only time you get to see all the floats finished as an artist because on parade day, you are in the parade staying with one particular float.”
Last fall, when it was decided that in lieu of a conventional live parade there would be a Chinese New Year Parade Special with 3D digital floats, we were able to tap into Scott’s talent for yet another season but in a totally new way. In addition to his artistic skills building physical floats, Scott is also a video editor and motion graphics artist. “This project was pretty different in that most motion design is fast-paced and you are trying to direct the viewer’s eye to follow a specific part of the animation,” said Franklin. “This project is different in that it’s more about the model and I’m doing the best I can not to direct the viewer to any specific spot. Almost like they are walking around it.”
When asked about some of the challenges he had, Scott shared with us, “the Queen’s float was an interesting challenge because I’ve worked on it for years in real life. So building it, and trying to figure out how to model parts of it was a challenge because I know what it really looks like. The other floats have never existed anywhere before so I had the freedom to interpret the design I was given. I really enjoyed working on the Parade like this. After all the years of building floats, it was interesting to take those skills into the 3D digital realm. I did a lot of the same things that we would normally do with floats but instead of asking ten people to help me move something, now I could move things with my computer mouse. Also, I didn’t have to worry about gravity, so you are able to build in ways you can’t in the physical realm.”
This year’s floats are spectacular. They glitter and glow, but instead of in-person and down the streets of downtown San Francisco, they will float across your screen, incorporating elements we never could have done in real life due to the laws of physics and Muni bus lines. With the combination of Stephanie Mufson’s float design genius and Scott Franklin’s animation magic, this year’s floats will go down in Chinese New Year Parade history.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday, February 20 at 6pm on KTVU Fox 2 and KTSF 26 to see the beautiful 3D floats in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade Special.
Scott Franklin is a San Francisco based Filmmaker, Artist, and Musician. Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Scott moved west in the early 2000s to focus on his music and visual art. In 2004 Scott settled in San Francisco, where he began editing videos for his band, which inspired him to delve deeper into the art of film and editing. Since then, Scott has studied Motion Graphics and Animation, Film Editing, Field Production, Sound Design, Cinematography, and Screen Writing at CCSF and BAVC.
He currently works as a freelancer in video editing, motion graphics, animation sound design and videography.
You can find more of his work at https://vimeo.com/betaworldfilms