Mesa Water. Redwood Tea. (Director’s cut)

Mesa Water provides safe, high-quality drinking water to residents and businesses in Costa Mesa, parts of Newport Beach, California, and areas of unincorporated Orange County. Mesa Water is committed to the highest standards for customer service, water awareness and conservation, reliable water delivery and financial leadership and transparency.

Huge thanks to Pasadena-based agency Perceptiv, it was thanks to them (specifically Roxanne Rodriguez and Dave Schwartz) that made this successful collaboration possible and the resulting beautifully concise, cutting-edge and hip animation for Mesa Water.

Fabula and synopsis.

Today, that special water, which is lovingly called “Redwood tea”, is pulled up from that deep aquifer. The water is naturally tinted with the amber, tea-like colour from the leftover decomposed particles of the ancient Redwood forest, as well as other trees such as sycamore and red cedar. The water soaks up the trees' colour, just like when you add a tea bag to hot water! This amber-tinted water is safe to drink as is.

However, Mesa Water wanted to make sure the water looked clear to their customers. Mesa Water engineers and operators perfected the use of cutting-edge nanofiltration technology to remove the amber colour. Sand separators, cartridge filters and nanofiltration membranes carefully take the amber colour and other natural materials out of the water. Voila! Perfectly clear drinking water!


Regarding the production process, this is a similar technique to the one used in the video for Better Place Forests. It is based on flat vector graphics with volume and shading given by a raster grain/noise effect, which is separately applied to each element by hand. The technique also utilises projection mapping, depth of field and dynamic 3D camera.

Illustrations. Vector base + Grain effect. (Selected Examples).

Still Frames. Scenes with depth of field. (Full Set).

Ice age coming.

A Big Chill.

A Great Meltdown.

Finding "Redwood Tea".

Amber or crystal clear? That's the question.

Setting up a filtration system.

Voila! Perfectly clear water.

100% local, reliable, clean and safe water.


Mesa Water

Creative Director
Dave Schwartz

Dave Schwartz,
Roxanne Rodriguez,
Eugene Borodulin

Roxanne Rodriguez

Illustration & Animation
Timid Kiddom Team