Let me tell you a story about the power of Forensic Animations. One day while I was sitting at my desk reviewing surveillance video of a bus accident, enjoying a typical day in the life of a forensic animator – the phone rings, and it is a senior producer at TMZ. What you should know is that an hour earlier Courtroom Animation posted a video to YouTube showing an animated reconstruction of the Bruce Jenner car collision.
If you are not familiar with the case, Bruce Jenner rear-ended two cars, pushing one into oncoming traffic in a fatal car accident that took place in Malibu. Several others were injured in the pileup and the site was closed down for more than nine hours while investigators collected information and examined the crash scene.
Fast-forward 24 hours and the Bruce Jenner visualization that we created has been viewed more than 650,000 times on YouTube, and over a million times through additional media hosts. I have been interviewed by CBS, ABC, The New York Daily News, USA Today and contacted by numerous news agencies across the globe – in Australia, UK, the Netherlands, etc. The Bruce Jenner reconstruction and animation that Courtroom Animation put together is now available on every major news network leading prime time news – it has gone viral.
What Does This Say About Forensic Animation?
The fact that the Bruce Jenner visualization that we created went viral sends a few very powerful messages about forensic animations. Visual media has the ability to quickly influence personal opinion, or to elicit an immediate response. Here are a few comments from YouTube users after viewing the video:
Courtroom Animation created the animation of the Bruce Jenner collision to highlight how efficiently our team works, even on the most complex cases. When we put this animation together, we consulted with multiple experts (forensic engineers and accident reconstruction specialists) to evaluate the vehicle damage, dynamics and rest positions. When it comes to accident reconstruction 3D animation is a very powerful tool.
Viewers who took the time to watch the video and observe the animation instantly and instinctively formed an opinion regarding the facts that are portrayed. This is important to note because jurors often say that expert and witness testimony from the plaintiff or the defense tends to be offsetting and does not directly affect the outcome of the case. An important takeaway from the Bruce Jenner animation going viral is that the majority of people who viewed it and commented on the video are regular, everyday people. The millions of views do not come from legal experts, attorneys, forensic experts or people who are involved with the legal industry. The animation was sought out by people who wanted to know what really happened – laypeople – potential jurors.
Forensic animation in litigation plays a very important role because it has a very strong effect on people, and it resonates more strongly with the audience than complex verbal testimony. For this reason, qualified forensic animators have a responsibility to rely on a strong, scientific foundation and represent the facts accurately. Additionally, animation can be shocking and elicit an emotional response from the jury because it gives them a firsthand view of what happened. This is important because this type of animation is engaging and it will ensure the jury is paying attention and that they will remember the information that is presented.
Lastly, the impact the Bruce Jenner animation had shows how effective forensic animation is as a tool that is available to legal teams. Before the animation was released it was being reported (and widely accepted) as a simple rear-end, chain reaction type vehicle collision. There were photos of crushed vehicles, excited witness statements, possible sources of DVR video, and thousands of unresolved opinions as to what the cause of the collision was. When we released the Courtroom Animation reconstruction and animation it consolidated all of the scattered facts into a single unit – a concise and intuitive first glimpse at the dynamics that would result in the appropriate vehicle rest positions and damage magnitude. This forensic animation contradicted virtually everything that was being reported, and subsequently went viral. Public opinion was formed so quickly and it spread so far that it forced the Police Department’s hand into releasing a statement verifying that Bruce Jenner did hit both vehicles in front of him.
There is no doubt that forensic animation is a powerful tool and is quickly becoming more mainstream and in demand in courtrooms across the country. It clearly influences the opinions of everyday people by taking an enormous amount of technical data and making it more accessible, concise and visual.
Courtroom Animation has been helping legal teams of all sizes find success in the courtroom with a wide range of animation services. Our expert team of animators and graphics specialists will produce high quality forensic animations for you that will add clarity to your presentation and boost juror attention, retention and comprehension. Our work has made a difference in numerous litigations and we have successfully achieved more than $750 million in favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. We also boast a 99% admittance rate in more than 1,600 cases and we have worked with more than 500 leading law firms on a wide range of cases.
If you are curious to learn more about the work that we do, check out our results page to get a glimpse of some recent projects that we have worked on. You can also follow us on social media to keep up with our work and get to know our team better. Please contact us if you have any questions about our team or the services that we offer – we look forward to hearing from you soon and working with you.
Note: Similar to how Caitlyn Jenner was formerly known as Bruce Jenner at the time this article was posted, Courtroom Animation was formerly named Integral Media Works. We apologize for any confusion.