Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Our Next 4 Years

Immediately after the November election, I was contacted by Carolyn Bates, a long time friend and colleague.  She wanted me to create a public service announcement for a grassroots organization called Our Next 4 Years (ON4Y).   I wrote, designed, voiced, and animated a piece called "Make Cheese, Not Walls".   Enjoy!

I asked Carolyn some questions about Our Next 4 Years.....

1.  What is ON4Y and how did it come to be?

Our Next 4 Years  is an all volunteer organization of almost 300 animation professionals.  We are partnering with progressive organizations in order to create animated PSA’s that can counter the regressive policies of the current administration.  Our group’s members include Oscar, Emmy, Annie and Humanitas award winners and nominees from studios big and small.

Following the election, producer / director, Mike Blum of Pipsqueak Films, reached out to me and broached a grand idea. Mike was motivated to action after reading a fervent Facebook post by his animation supervisor, Ramiro Olmos.  Ramiro wanted to lend his animation skills to help support progressive causes and create change.  Mike has tremendous creative & organizational skills and a good dose of chutzpah to make that happen. 

Over lunch at CTNX, Mike outlined how we might offer our services to produce PSA’s. We discussed possible mission statement, orgs and issues we might support and how we might reach the middle with our message. Soon was launched with help and continued support from our steering committee producers: Richard O’Connor of Ace and Son Moving Picture Company, Mike Penketh of Bento Box Entertainment, Neobe Velis, myself, and our growing team of dedicated volunteers.  It’s been hard work but we’re proud of what ON4Y have created. We hope we can grow our viewership & membership and also affect change.

2.  What kind of volunteer participants are you looking for - is it strictly animation peeps?

Our all-volunteer group includes veteran & newbie animation creators, artists as well as writers, composers, editors, attorneys, accountants, social media & marketing gurus, political advisors & friends of the causes.  Each volunteer producer assembles from our volunteer list, the best team appropriate for the style and tone needed to create the PSA’s. Volunteers aren’t strictly ‘animation peeps’ but we do like volunteers who believe in the causes and are motivated to help share and get the word out on social media.

3.  What type of artists are contributing to Our Next 4 Years and what’s in the pipeline?

Our Next 4 Years volunteer contributors comprise all types of artists (directors, character designers, storyboard artists, background & layout artists, 2D / Flash / stop motion / 3D & motion graphics animators, compositors, graphic designers) from studios such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Bento Box, Dreamworks, Cartoon Network, Pixar and others. Along with the 5 ON4Y spots released as of March 30, 2017 we have another 9 projects in production or development.  

4.  How can someone join the team?

We’d love for all our animation friends to sign up on the Our Next 4 Years volunteer site. They can volunteer here:

ON4Y Volunteers:


When this dark era of American history has passed,  these PSA's will stand as a testament to how the animation industry stood up against the hatred, the short sightedness,  greed, and the fear that threatens the American Way of life under the guise of making it 'great again'.  I'm proud to have contributed.  Thanks for inviting me in, Carolyn! 

1 comment:

  1. Steve, I love your PSA! Great animation and message. Adding a shout out to our friend, Mark Medernach for producing this for #ON4Y .
    Carolyn Bates