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The Lost Battalion
After Effects
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This storyboard is a pitch that I designed and directed for the opening titles of a concept mini series called The Lost Battalion. The premise of the show takes place in France nearing the end of WW1 and focuses on the infamous 77th Division of American soldiers, (historically known as "The Lost Battalion") —who found themselves trapped behind enemy lines and detached from the allied advance. Stranded from aid or support, the 77th quickly found themselves completely surrounded by German forces in the Argonne forest during the frigid autumn of 1918. What seemed like a winnable over the top attack into the forest became the ultimate test of human perseverance.
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The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before 194 remaining men were rescued. They were led by Major Charles White Whittlesey. On 2 October, the division quickly advanced into the Argonne, under the belief that French forces were supporting the left flank and two American units including the 92nd Division were supporting the right flank. Unknown to Whittlesey's unit, the French advance had been stalled. Without this knowledge, the Americans had moved beyond the rest of the Allied line and found themselves completely cut off and surrounded by German forces. For the next six days, suffering heavy losses, the men of the division were forced to fight off several attacks by the Germans, who saw the small American units as a threat to their whole line.

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It's important to mention that I was heavily inspired to take on this passion project from a 6 part series podcast created by Dan Carlin in his archive, "Hardcore History." One of his most epic creations is "Blueprint for Armageddon" which digs deep into the horrors of trench warfare and the social aftershock that stems directly from the echoes of the Great War. I strongly recommend his work and will include a link below.

After doing my own research about U.S. involvement, I discovered the story of the Lost Battalion. That being said, I designed the entire sequence to convey the state of mind amongst the soldiers. They are stuck in the dark purgatory of war, constantly fighting through a dense fog that never seems to let up. I wanted the mood to be extremely ominous with the heavy use of monochromatic tones that are broken with violent streaks of fiery color.

Ash Thorp​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Lost Battalion