Thursday, June 6, 2019

5•7•5: Science, Art and Poetry

To Script or Not Script:

I have produced 8 short animated documentaries for kids and families about life cycles and I found no necessity for a script and voice over. These stories tell themselves. The first short in the Anim8Nature series is the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly…a story most children learn by kindergarten. I wanted to make them as accessible as possible for the largest audience, with no language barriers.


My objective with this series is to get children and their families outdoors, observing nature and asking questions. That and the fact that the running time on most of these is around one minute…they are not intended to be a definitive treatise on the subject. 

However, as I expand the subject matter of my films to include more phenomena, I am beginning to consider the benefit of a script. I have lots of experience writing for preschool. I had the privilege of producing an animated series of interstitials for HBO Family. My independent project Bees Buzz & Lions Roar was 30 minutes of preschool animated shorts and stories.  This work is intended for an older audience.


Haiku is a kind of poetry developed Japan that consists of a total of seventeen syllables. Three lines with five, seven and five syllables. Traditionally these poems are about nature.

Most of my creative writing of the last few years has been haiku. As a devotee of Asian culture in general and specifically the arts, this does not surprise me. The poems below were written in November of 2018 on my walks in the woods in Central Virginia right before I moved to Brooklyn.

                                                     Color of copper
                                                     Festoons the woods in autumn
                                                     Leaves crunch under foot

                                                     Sun setting too soon
                                                     I anticipate solstice
                                                     Warm sun on my back

                                                     I startle a squirrel
                                                     She stays and eats her acorn
                                                     A friend in the woods

However, a script based on haiku seems a bit far fetched? Or does it?

Proof frame of work in progress

Lunar Cycle:

Currently I am collaborating with astronomer, Dr. Jason Aufdenberg on an animated doc about the lunar cycle in relationship to the sun and tides. The time frame is 14 days, from new moon to full moon. Starting to work on the script, I stumbled upon an article about organizations referencing haiku when writing their mission statement.  This inspired me to update Anim8Nature’s mission statement.


Anim8Nature’s films creatively express awe for the physical manifestation of a variety of natural phenomena without misrepresenting them. 
(That’s why collaborating with scientists is so important.)

Poetry and Learning Science:

Further researching haiku and its many uses, I found this article about haiku in science classrooms and I was off and running. Of course, all of the arts play a role in education; music, literature and visual arts.

Proof frame of work in progress

Drawing/Animating to Learn:

Like all of you, I have enjoyed observing the moon. However, this process of animating it was been such an education. That has really been true for all of the animated docs I am made.Yes, creating content explaining phenomena is an amazing educational tool for the content creator. It works for kids too, I see this is my workshops.

Stay tuned as my haiku inspired lunar cycle scripts develops.

Learn More About Our Work:

Check out and my demo reel

Support our work on Patreon

A Plan Comes Together

It fascinates me that sometimes when inspiration comes, it's everywhere I look. I like that! My challenge to visualize the connection of...