‘Tower’ tells the story of the university of Texas tower shooting which took place on August 1st, 1966. At the time, it was the worst mass-shooting in US history, with 14 people killed and 31 others injured. ‘Tower’ uses archival footage, interviews and animated recreations of the day’s events to tell the stories of the victims. Maitland describes his decision to create an animated documentary of the event as ‘want[ing] to create a visceral experience for audiences that would transport them right into that moment and force them to live through this horrific, long and hot experience that the characters of the story lived through.’
The use of rotoscope animation gives further realism, expanding the archival footage to better tell the story of that tragic day. Several survivors were interviewed, their words re-enacted by actors to give a sense of these characters living through the moment rather than reflecting on the past. With only 14 minutes of archival footage to use, Maitland and his team used animation to fill in the gaps and give a cinematic feel to the story which draws the viewer in and has them experience the tragedy along with the people who were there at the time. The animation was also done in black and white, to blend in with the archival footage and create a more cohesive story.
The trailer gives us a peek into the compelling and cinematic film, with dramatic music, jarring sounds of gunshots, and emotional testimonials of the victims.
Watch the trailer below: