Video Director Wins Multiple SXSW Film Awards


Nathan Bayless earns three SXSW 2016 film awards for TOWER, which he was animator and colorist.

Last Updated: March 29, 2016 5:26 pm GMT
(March 29, 2016) Nathan Bayless, video director for mobile app marketing agency,, won three SXSW film awards for his work on documentary film TOWER. The film, for which Bayless was hired as Animator and Colorist, won Best Documentary, the Louis Black Lone Star Award, and Audience Award. The documentary was recognized for its compelling feature of combining animation and archival footage. Bayless’ role was to captivate the audience by adding rotoscoping techniques to heighten the feel of the film. The documentary is a feature on the notorious school shooting that took place at the University of Texas at Austin on August 1st, 1966.

“I jumped at the chance to work on this film because I love doing hand-drawn animation and found the story to be a really interesting take on a historically significant event" said Bayless. "Most of my work on the film was as a colorist, which meant I was responsible for character coloration, such as fills, details, shading, highlights, etc."

The U.T. Tower shooting was the first mass campus shooting in America. The film TOWER includes archival footage and recent interviews with the event survivors. Bayless took both forms of footage and used an intensive form of animation called "rotoscoping" to add visual dimension to the film.

Bayless's fascination with Ralph Bakshi and his work is what brought his love for the rotoscope style of animation, which is what he used for TOWER. Bayless also uses that inspiration for the videos.

"I've always been a big fan of the type of rotoscope animation we used to bring TOWER to life, so this was a rare and exciting opportunity. It just produces such a strangely surreal feel that I found fascinating as a kid in movies like Heavy Metal and most of Ralph Bakshi's catalog, and more recently in Richard Linklater's Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly."

TOWER is traveling across the nation to different film festivals and continues to be recognized for its compelling storytelling style.

View the trailer for TOWER here.


Nathan Bayless is a graduate from Indiana State University with a degree in Radio/ TV Film. He is the Video Director for, and does freelance animation and video work. He has produced dozens of animated and live action films for, and his recent work for the film TOWER won SXSW Best Documentary award.


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