Gemmel & Tim

Michiel Thomas is a Belgian documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Michiel approached me for his documentary Gemmel & Tim , where friends reminisce on the lives and deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, two black gay men who died at the hands of West Hollywood politico Ed Buck. The film speaks on the lives of the two and on the disadvantage to colored people in the American judiciary system.

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Michael Thomas

Animation Direction
Art direction
Motion graphics
Graphic design

Produced by 
Michael Franklin
Niq Lewi
Michiel Thomas

Music by
Willard Hill

Cinematography by
Michiel Thomas

Film editing by
Niq Lewis
Sheniqua Lewis

Sound department
Abby Austria
Dean White

Animation Department
Remy Ndow

Editorial Department
Eric Alvarado

Point of view

The animation is a point of view from the victims who had to deal with Ed Buck. Although it is still far away from you, it gives you an idea of what it was like to be in that situation.

Power... POWER, power.

The animation in our film is about power. The abuse of power, being powerful versus being powerless, the feeling of power and the lack thereof, and finally the power a few determined people can have on the world.


We visualize this with color and the absence of color. Through enlarging and minimizing characters. The imagery is like a moving painting, where we go from detailed scenes of abundance to scenes where it looks like we ran out of ink.

Typography design

Inspiration & research material

Some of the inspiration and preliminary designs we worked through to reach the final result.


Lot’s of artwork was made in search for the visual identity of this documentary. Some of it had to be scrapped for time and editing reasons, but I’d like to show it to you here.

Film poster

This poster shows the many people that had a hand in bringing Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean’s stories to the world. (pun intended) It’s a tribute to them. Without them there would have been no justice, without them more people would have fallen victim to people like Ed Buck.


Gemmel & Tim premiered at Outfest LA. It went on to win prizes like the Audience award at Black Alphabet Chicago, Jury award at OUTshine Film Festival and was selected for festivals like Palm Springs, Filmfestival Oostende and Reeling Film Festival Chicago. It’s been mentioned in various media outlets like IndieWire, Hollywoodreporter and Documentary Magazine. 

If you have any questions about this project, Don’t hessitate to ask!

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