Our Next 4 Years, a new volunteer-run organization comprised of over 200 concerned animation professionals formed in the wake of the election, has released its first animated PSA. This funny and informative spot — Share in the Care: Defend the Affordable Care Act (directed by Mike Parker) — illustrates the problems with repealing the Affordable Care Act and sets a deliberate, non-partisan yet entertaining way — the tone for the many PSAs Our Next 4 Years is producing.
Future PSAs in production include topics such as immigration, climate change, privacy protection and other constitutional issues. Another Health Care PSA (directed by Tona Wilson) will be released next Thursday, March 2nd. “We’re currently developing PSA’s on Immigration and planning to tackle more: Women’s reproductive rights, Anti-bigotry, Journalism / free press”, says producer Carolyn Bates. “Our Next 4 Years was started by Mike Blum, based on an idea that animator, Ramiro Olmos had proposed. Steering committee members are me, Richard O’Connor, and Mike Penketh.”
While not affiliated with any particular company, the group’s members have worked at Disney, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and pretty much every other studio, big and small. The group’s members include Oscar, Emmy, Annie and Humanitas award winners and nominees. Eager to use the skills of its members to communicate the concerns of a population both worried and energized by the recent election, Our Next 4 Years is passionate about showcasing outstanding animation with the goal of fostering informed discussion.
While the PSAs will vary in style, the group’s approach will be to remain positive, stick with the facts and move people to action. It’s a mission that is personal to group co-founder, Mike Blum: “I’ve never been a particularly political person. In fact, until last fall, the most political thing I’d ever done was vote. But the election really changed my mindset and I realized I needed to do something to help. But it was only after reading an impassioned Facebook post by my animation supervisor, Ramiro Olmos, about the role animation could play in creating change, that I knew I needed to use my organizational and professional skills to counter what I fear could be a rollback of seventy years of progressive gains.”
UPDATE: Quickly following their debut PSA, Our Next 4 Years has released Keep Us Covered: Why Save the Affordable Care Act – a stop motion short that addresses personal ramifications of the ACA.
Inspired by the sleepless nights worrying over insurance — pre-existing conditions, individual access, lifetime limits, the simple, direct message is conveyed with a graphic and direct visual style.
The spot can be seen here:
Writer: SUJU VIJAYAN
Director: TONA WILSON
Music by JEREMY MAGE
Design & Stop Motion Animation by: TONA WILSON Social Media Coordinator: TRISTIAN GOIK
Social Media Manager: ALEX GOMEZ
Producer: CAROLYN BATES
Production by: OUR NEXT 4 YEARS
Critical to the mission of Our Next 4 Years is partnering with organizations that can help the group set priorities, focus its messaging, stay current on facts, and work to distribute the PSAs as widely as possible. Currently, the group is affiliated with Action Group Network – brainchild of House of Cards Creator Beau Willimon – a nationwide network of action groups dedicated to moving the country progressively forward in the wake of a divisive election, and RISE Stronger, which engages, educates, and empowers citizens to become active participants in democracy by marrying policy expertise with grassroots energy.
About Our Next 4 Years:
Our Next 4 Years is a new organization staffed by over 200 volunteer animation professionals
who have banded together to create animated PSAs countering the current administration’s regressive agenda. For more information visit: ournext4years.org, or on Facebook at facebook.com/ournext4years/.
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