Children Affected by Storm Sandy Give Thanks for Family and Community at Premiere Event
Sunday, November 24, 2013, Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, Middletown, N.J., 4:00 p.m.
The Sandy Project
The Sandy Project is a one-minute documentary and winner of the FilmOneFest's Spirit of the Shore Awards created by Neal Bennett of the Industry Film School and the Middletown Arts Center's acting instructor Kathy Connolly. The documentary is based on the Sandy Project program held at the Middletown Arts Center, which attracted 22 kids, ages 4 - 15, who collaborated to create a 45-minute, multi-media piece in which the children wrote poems and songs, painted, created an animation, danced, hula hooped, and played guitar and piano. The project raised $950 for the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund.
Storm Sandy: Staying Afloat
Even today a year following Sandy’s destruction, many families in communities across the Jersey Shore have yet to return home. In an effort to help children experiencing the emotional affects of being displaced by the storm, Small Factory Productions organized one of its Kids Kare Create-a-Cartoon workshops to bring together a group of 12 children from Highlands, Union Beach, Port Monmouth, Rumson and Long Branch for a day of healing and creative fun. The workshop was made possible by a generous grant from the Jay Dooley Memorial Foundation. On May 4-5 the children, who range in ages from 5 to 12, worked as a group to create their original animated cartoon short. The workshop began with the group learning about how a cartoon is created, then Small Factory’s Executive Producer Chris Dudick and Dr. Alison Block, a licensed psychologist from Little Silver, NJ, worked with the children to develop their individual characters by asking them questions that got ideas forming and imaginations flowing.
Each child brought his or her individual character to life with colors, sounds and a script. Characters include the narrator Buffalo the Dog, Lauren the Mom, Bob the Dad, Andrew the Boy, Autumn the Girl, the helpers Sean and Charlotte, Bobo the Cat, the House, Joe the Construction Worker and Hurricane Sandy. Villain Sandy damaged the house, but the children were quick to add that she was only doing her job as a storm. The children unanimously titled the cartoon, “Storm Sandy: Staying Afloat.” Following the creation and recording of the children’s voices, the group also wrote and sang an original theme song.