Play Video

Slope of the Curve

Sounding the alarm on the U.S. unemployment crisis

The animated short sounds the alarm on a looming U.S. unemployment crisis.
Directed by Academy Award-nominated documentarian Marshall Curry and narrated by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, "Slope of the Curve" explains how technology, automation, and globalization are changing the U.S. jobs market faster than ever before and redefining the role, necessity, and longevity of the American worker.
Director: Marshall Curry

The conversation on the ever-changing jobs market has hit a fever pitch in recent years as advancements in technology redefine the role of the American worker.

Recognizing the need for a platform that dives deeper into the issue, venture capitalist Art Bilger formed WorkingNation, a not-for-profit national campaign dedicated to explaining the high stakes of Structural Unemployment and investigating potential solutions to the problem through innovative storytelling.

Armed with two award-winning producers, Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer, the team decided on their first project, an animated short “Slope of the Curve,” tackling the looming unemployment crisis that threatens the jobs of nearly half the American workforce over the next 20 years.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated documentarian Marshall Curry and narrated by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, the film explains how the U.S. jobs market is rapidly changing as a result of advances in technology, automation, and other factors, and why it’s so important for everyday Americans to begin preparing now for an uncertain future.

“This massive issue facing the U.S. isn’t being explained to the American public in a way that hits home,” Lynch said. “It took a year to break down a complicated topic into an easily digestible story that hopefully anyone can understand.”

“We believe that ‘Slope of the Curve’ will serve as a great introduction to the issue and its causes and get people to start thinking about whether they are ready for the future of work,” Panzer added.

Written by Curry and co-producer Dan Koehler, the film digs into the factors contributing to the growing employability gap in the United States and illustrates the impact it’s already having — and is poised to have — on millions of middle-class lives.

“I love the challenge of taking complex ideas that might seem dry on the surface and turning them into fun, entertaining, visually-compelling films,” Curry said.

Michael Bonitatis, an animation professor and founder of Animation Libation Studios, served as director of animation for the film and created “Slope’s” constantly morphing animation style.

WorkingNation partnered with Bonitatis, in part, because of his studios’ unique mission to connect newly emerging artists with industry veterans on collaborative projects. Bonitatis recruited recent animation graduates to work on the project who were otherwise out of work or underemployed in the animation field.

For many, it was their first major production and an example of WorkingNation highlighting and working with an organization offering the type of scalable, grassroots skills development and employment solutions that will be required across industries to solve the looming crisis.

Shortly after its release, the film caught the attention of CNNMoney and has been featured in stories related to this issue.

Over the past year, WorkingNation has produced numerous projects for our FutureWork Series, Do Something Awesome series, and social media platforms. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest news and stories that could change your life or the life of someone you know.

FutureProof & Slope of the Curve is our signature digital series that shines the spotlight on the most innovative initiatives helping to train and re-skill Americans for the most in-demand jobs now and in the future.

Slope of the Curve and FutureProof