The Christmas Bell Ringer: Gimme Yer Darn Money!

The Christmas Bell Ringer: Gimme Yer Darn Money!

The Bell Ringer is a humorously delightful animated short film created by Royale, a motion design and production studio in Los Angeles. The film was launched as part of Royale’s interactive holiday site, raising funds for The American Red Cross Disaster Relief in support of those affected by Superstorm Sandy. At the heart of the 25-day fundraising effort is the animated short about Edith, a sweet old lady who sets up shop on a busy street corner to raise money for charity.

Edith, the altruistic bell ringer, embarks on her holiday mission in a faraway land on a wintry city sidewalk. After many fruitless attempts at ringing in the spirit of giving, Edith becomes so frustrated that she angrily hurls her bell at the next uncaring passerby, which causes a coin to curiously bounce her way. Ignored yet again, she throws her bell at another passerby, this time yielding even more coins. Soon, Edith’s red canister is brimming with wads of paper money and a pile of coins, even a shiny engagement ring. The film’s ending reveals a knockout surprise for a noble cause.

The Christmas Bell Ringer: Gimme Yer Darn Money!

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Eternal Storm: The After-Effects of Hurricane Sandy

Eternal Storm: The After-Effects of Hurricane Sandy

Jamie Stuart, the filmmaker who shot Idiot with a Tripod, the 2010 blizzard short film that Roger Ebert called Oscar-worthy, is back with another short about the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy. In a sense, the new four-minute “Eternal Storm” is a conceptual follow-up to his 2010 short film and was shot in Far Rockaway, Staten Island, Coney Island and Astoria one week after Sandy hit.

About his new film, Stuart writes, “I don’t know if it’s right to create art out of this experience, yet. I don’t know what the time limit is. But I have created something that I hope people can appreciate. And art always helps.”

Eternal Storm: The After-Effects of Hurricane Sandy

Idiot with a Tripod: New York’s Blizzard of 2010

Here’s the moody, brilliantly-shot meditation on a buried city that was called Oscar-worthy by Roger Ebert. The video was shot by filmmaker Jamie Stuart in Queens, New York, during the snowstorm on the night of December, the 26th. Like the film itself, the title, Idiot with a Tripod, is an homage to the 1929 silent film Man With a Movie Camera.

Idiot with a Tripod: New York’s Blizzard of 2010

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The Guardian Watch: Destruction after Fires in Breezy Point, Queens

The Guardian Watch: Destruction after Fires in Breezy Point, Queens

The Guardian Watch is a photograph of the horrific destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy and the fires that swept through Breezy Point, Queens, a picture of what’s left of the Breezy Point neighborhood. The Official FDNY Flickr account has other photographs of the horrible damage from Hurricane Sandy.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Chaos of Breezy Point, N Y

Hurricane Sandy NYC: The Evening Before and the Morning After

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Weary of Hurricane Sandy? Watch This Cute Tiny Boat Weather the Storms!

Little Boat: A Bittersweet Tale of Persistence and Adversity

Little Boat is a bittersweet, sometimes heartbreaking minimalist five-minute animated short film by CalArts student Nelson Boles. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in September 2005, Boles enrolled in the Teen Program at The Animation Academy in Burbank. He was a 16 year-old young man from New Orleans, a refugee from the storm. Later, when things got back to semi-normal in New Orleans, he returned home.

Boles’s Little Boat is an inspiring story of adventure and perseverance, starring a surprisingly expressive little dinghy. The short film went viral a while back, charming thousands of viewers and winning a number of festival prizes, but it feels particularly relevant while people all up and down the East Coast braced themselves for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.

Little Boat imbues life into an obstinately mundane object, as the little red the dinghy steadfastly pushes forward through storms, floods and wars. One shot, at the 2:10 mark in the film, shows the little boat resolutely thrusting forward upon the stormy seas, only to have its mast shattered in half; it’s as heartbreaking a moment as anything that could happen to a more conventional animated character with eyes, hands and legs.

The deceptively simple animation contains lots of surprises, so make sure to watch it full screen with the sound turned up; half the story is in the audio.

Little Boat: A Bittersweet Tale of Persistence and Adversity

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