Cartoon Network recently screened a Burbank Boys & Girls Club PSA created by a group of nine middle and high school kids with the mentorship of Mike Roth, an animator and director at the studio.
The screening was held at the Burbank-based studio on Wednesday, December 3, to celebrate completion of the anti-bullying animated short and honor retiring Cartoon Network Director of Operations and Community Relations, Zita Lefebvre. The PSA will be posted on the Cartoon Network and Burbank Boys & Girls Club websites.
Called Revelation, the PSA discusses bullying, based on the participants’ personal experiences. After Roth taught lessons on writing,storyboarding and illustration, the kids collaborated to write the story and created characters, backgrounds and storyboards, explained Lefebvre.
“They came into the studio to record the voices and did an amazing job,” she added.
“I requested and received a grant from Turner in Atlanta to create a PSA with the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank,” said Lefebvre, of the process of putting the project together. “Mike Roth directed the film and went with me weekly to Boys & Girls Club and worked with the kids to teach them the animation process.”
Burbank-based photographer and myBurbank.com Chief Photographer Ross Benson took interior and exterior photos at Robert L. Stevenson Elementary to provide source material Roth used for some backgrounds.
“It was a wonderful project to work with the kids, teach them a process and to have them create an animated film that will be shown on the Cartoon Network and Boys & Girls Club webpage,” commented Lefbvre. “It was a great experience for the kids to come into the studio to voice record their PSA.”
“When I was a kid, I would have loved an opportunity to make a real cartoon,” said Roth. “So it was very special to be a part of helping provide this opportunity to this group of boys and girls at the BGCA. They did an amazing job and I’m very proud of them and the work they did.”
The Revelation PSA was an offshoot of the Young Writers Program that Cartoon Network started at Stevenson Elementary in 2012. Cartoon Network purchased several computers for the Burbank Boys & Girls Club this past summer and beings a project in 2015 teaching the kids to create their own movies.
“This partnership with the Cartoon Network allowed the kids to experience the real world of animation and inspired them to dream,” commented Sherry DeLizia, Creative Arts Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley. “Most importantly, it empowered the kids to make a difference.”