Remembering gravity: The animated story of an astronaut coming home

Recently formed by Ian Sigmon and Nick Forshee, Gunner is an animation studio in Detroit with an emphasis on design-driven animation.

Gunner partnered with Great Big Story to bring to life the observations and journey of astronaut Leland Melvin as he acclimates to life back on earth.

From Gunner:

We were approached by Great Big Story a couple months back to add animation bits to one of their segments on Leland Melvin.  It was one of those “we’ll let you do what ever you want” kinda things. Hard to say no when you’re talking about space, space is really sweet. We took that as a perfect opportunity to work with some new friends we’ve met here in Detroit.


Michael Burdick
James Noellert

Nick Forshee
Ian Sigmon
Marcus Bakke
Mel Mcann
Austin Herman
Josh Parker

Music & Sound Design:
Steve Saputo
Bryan Pope

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About the author

Joe Donaldson

Joe Donaldson is a director, designer, and animator who worked on Motionograpgher from 2014-2020. Previously, he was an art director at Buck. Over the past decade, he's lived and worked in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles and has directed work for clients such as Apple, Google, Instagram, The New York Times, Unicef, Etsy, and The New Yorker. In addition to his creative work, in 2018 he started Holdframe. He's now working as a professor at Ringling College of Art and Design and when not teaching he can be found spending time with his family or out running.


Jimmy Simpson



Made me smile, really touching ! ;)

Joe Lopez III

Cool stuff! Curious on how long this took Gunner once they got the footage. I’m sure the ideas were as infinite as the subject they were covering.

Ian Sigmon

three and a half weeks start to finish :)

Byunghoon Han

flat earth :)


The animation was great! I really enjoyed this piece. I especially liked how astronaut Leland Melvin was lit along with the deep black backdrop.

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