Peacock Original

A Tragic True Crime Story

Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert is the devastating story of a young life taken too soon, and of how her brave mother devoted herself to making sure other parents don’t have to suffer like she did. Amber was abducted a few blocks from her grandparents’ house, when she was left alone for just a few minutes. A witness saw the abduction and called 911, but since this was before the Amber alert system was established, the authorities didn’t find her in time.

When I got the call for this project I had heard of the case, but I immediately began researching, learning as much as I could about what happened, what Arlingon Texas is like, what kind of bike was she riding and so on. All those details helped me develop a look for the show, to set the right tone to tell the story.

This was a big project, so I enlisted the help of the great team at 9iFX. They helped keep the trains on time and made valuable contributions to the show.

Design Concepts


The first step for a big project like this is to establish a visual language. Pick colors, fonts, animation styles and find the perfect vibe for the show.

For this one, we wanted warm colors to reflect the time period and location, a slightly feminine feeling font, and a handwritten investigatory style for the maps.

In show graphics

Maps, documents and transcripts

For the maps, we landed on a technique where we match-moved drone footage, and added a combination of clean, graphical location indicators coupled with hand-written notes and arrows, to give the feeling that the speaker was drawing on the footage itself with a marker. We didn’t fake it, it was all handwritten and drawn then scanned in.

The official documents were often low resolution fax copies from the nineties, so we recreated some of them, others we treated heavily. We did a lot of camera tricks to obscure the actual text, as it was pretty disturbing. We used texture and light leaks to give a hazy, dreamlike quality.

For the 911 calls, the idea was the dialogue was written out on a 90s era CRT display and projected on the video. We went for a high tech/old technology style, with subtle noise and scanlines to reinforce the feel. 


Client Reactions

Thank you!!

Jake made the entire graphics packaging process for the series run smoothly, is reliable, and creates stellar work!

Cionín Lorenzo
Executive Producer, Who Killed Jenni Rivera

Thank you so much!

Our studio loved working with you and the work you did for us.

Hunter Petterson
Project Manager, Fiction

Once again my friend...

...a true pleasure to work with you. Thanks for your effort and brilliance.

Annemarie Crivelli
Executive Director, Inizio Evoke Data Practice

Showed off your work, they loved it!

Working with you on this has been the highlight of the project.

Jason Knight
Senior Designer, Current TV

The site is BEAUTIFUL.

I have been showing it off like crazy. Thanks for the great work.

Laurie Ulster
Senior Director,