I made Cool For You, a new animated film that explains the cause of the climate crisis in a simple story children can understand and enjoy, to help my kids prepare for the world in which they’ll live.
Like so many people, my life and my motion design business came to an abrupt halt in March 2020, with the pandemic. Projects were canceled, clients stopped calling, and there was no work. I was devastated as the severity of the pandemic quickly became apparent.
Suddenly, I wasn’t a composer, a designer, or an animator; as a mother of three, I was the teacher, the lunch lady, the school nurse, the gym teacher, and more, all rolled into one. We were lucky that my husband’s job continued uninterrupted, but it meant that I had to give up my creative pursuits to care for our children, while schools and daycares were closed.
After so many years of crafting a delicate balance of working and parenting, it all fell to pieces and there was no balance. The long days of those first few months of the pandemic were such a struggle. I soon realized I wasn’t the only one, as the largest exit of women from the workplace took place in the year following the pandemic.
Then, something magical happened when a friend shared a book with me that he thought I would like. It was called “Cool For You” and explained global warming to children without scaring them. I read it to my children, who were 2-, 5-, and 8-years old at the time. They all loved it.
Climate change is an urgent problem. Super storms, floods, droughts, and fires are just a taste of the new normal that will become more threatening every year without global collective action to stop greenhouse gas emissions. “Cool For You” features a story of uniting to learn about the Earth and to work to stop climate change.
We were stuck in lockdown with few places to go, but the illustrations in this book were moving — in my imagination! I decided I wanted to turn the book into a movie. So, I contacted the author and illustrator who gave me the rights to turn it into a film. I began to spend nights turning the book into an animated film. After my kids finished their 12-hour days of “Google School” and a home-grown “Lego Camp,” I worked three to five hours every evening animating the beautiful artwork in the book.
The results surpassed my wildest dreams. After actor Matthew Modine and his production partner Adam Rackoff joined the project, “Cool For You” turned from a simple idea to help me survive the pandemic into a film shown to thousands of children all over the world.
“Cool For You” has been featured at 39 film festivals, and I earned my first Motion Award nomination, the highest recognition in the motion design industry, and a Silver Anthem Award. I hope you share it with your children and that they enjoy it as much as we did while making the film.
About the Author
Sherene Strausberg combines her experience in film, music, and sound engineering with graphic design and illustration to create animated videos for her clients at the company she founded, 87th Street Creative. Her latest passion project, the short, animated film “Cool For You,” which she animated and scored, has been accepted to film festivals around the world.