Watch as a tear slowly slides down a bee’s cheek early in the BEE HOLD trailer, and it’s clear that this short film was made with heart and talent.
Children who hail from the Tampa Bay Area had a hand in the soon-to-be-released project, as did New York and Pennsylvania students. Instructor Paula Allen, also known as ‘Pollyzoom,’ sees it as her mission to help her pupils use the animation skills she teaches for good.
Illustration from BEE HOLD, an animated film.
“We want our kids creating media, not just consuming it,” she says. “Animation is a powerful tool for kids to have to make changes for the good of the planet.”
BEE HOLD brings awareness to the decreasing bee population and showcases what the future might be like without them. Working with the children on such environmental themes gives them a completely different slant on the digital world, Allen says. She teaches budding animators of all levels and has a core group of aspiring professionals.
“My middle school students often animate better than I do,” she says. “After all, they’ve grown up in a digital world.”
BEE HOLD will premiere at select local private schools in December and January and will be submitted to film festivals. Allen is no stranger to the mission of guiding children toward good: In 2011 she was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Tampa Human Rights Council. She has two more films in the works, both student-led and focused on environmental themes.
“I’m all about giving kids the tools to animate and then stepping back and letting them do the work,” she says. “When a child creates a message, it’s completely different than when an adult does.”
For more information about animation classes and future projects, visit Pollzoom online.
Past 83 Degrees article: St. Pete To London: Pollyzooming The Olympics.
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