Events in the United States this January have given us a lot to think about. We watched in horror as our democracy was imperiled on January 6th. The shock of the insurrection is still in my heart. Yet, thankfully, my fear has been replaced by the hope that took hold as we watched the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, and the broad condemnation of the insurrection.
Watching the inauguration, full of gorgeous music and inspiring poetry that healed and uplifted us, and seeing the actions taken in the first days of the new administration, it’s evident that compassion, justice, truth, science, competence and even civil discourse are back! And seeing a proposed cabinet that looks like America in its diversity feels like a dream come true.
Nominees include: Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior (from Brian’s home state, New Mexico), who if confirmed will be the first ever Native American cabinet secretary; Dr. Miguel Cardona, a talented son of the Puerto Rican diaspora, who hopefully soon will be our Education Secretary; and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who grew up in a segregated town in Louisiana, chosen for UN Ambassador. And in contrast to the previous administration, all of President Biden’s nominees have actual, relevant experience in the areas in which they’ll be working. Our family is so grateful for this.
Adapting to the “New Normal”
When the pandemic began we realized that, while we were set up perfectly to work at home, we, too had to stretch and grow. 2020 was a year of learning. We started collaborations with numerous new clients, recording countless health trainings and PSA’s around COVID 19, political spots, web videos, and much more. Many of our clients had to adapt and innovate due to the pandemic, and we were able to help them thanks to our professional home studio and remote recording capacity. Fortunately, we also got to deepen our long term working relationships with some of our favorite regulars, something we never, ever take for granted.
New Projects with Old Friends – from Clients to Friends
There are certain clients whose vision has aligned with ours from our very first meeting; that’s what happened with Planet Nutshell. They’re a one of a kind, full-service animation studio that has been creating compelling media since 2008. We’re thrilled to feature them here.
Every project Planet Nutshell has asked us to participate in resonates with our values. And they have a frequent need for bilingual content, which of course, just happens to be our specialty. Together we’ve worked on a wide range of projects promoting positive social change, as well as small and large scale projects for a wide variety of clients showcasing education, science, healthcare, music, Latino empowerment, and much more.
In 2020, Planet Nutshell approached us about a different kind of project. Founder (and now friend) Josh Gunn knows that we’re musicians and that Brian is a composer. He asked Brian to write music for an animated short film “Azúcar”, a poignant immigration story. As Josh describes it:
“Azúcar is the story of a mother and son who have journeyed over 1500 miles to get from Honduras to the US border in search of a better life. The film follows them on the night of their attempted crossing, when nothing goes to plan.”
Brian is thrilled to contribute his musical skills to this beautiful story. The film should be released soon. Meanwhile, you can see the trailer here.
Planet Nutshell Casts a Wide Net
We also got to collaborate with Planet Nutshell as voice actors on a variety of their clients’ projects. They created inspiring animations for the Latino Victory Project’s “Tu Voto” (“Your Vote”) campaign, and asked us to provide bilingual voiceovers. The project was aimed at turning out Latino voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. It was a wonderful experience and a perfect opportunity to honor our Hispanic roots through our voices at a critical time.
I also got a huge kick out of voicing a series of whimsical animations recorded for Kentucky Educational Television focusing on music education, and my daughter Alisa Amador had the pleasure of recording the story of Lucille Packard, founder of Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. A while back, when folks could still go to museums, I recorded for the “Culture Pass NYC” animated video. (Sigh… those days will return now that the vaccine is here, so long as we’re all patient. What a treat it’ll be to go to museums again, right?) You can see these animations and more created by Planet Nutshell at the top of this playlist.
You can also check out the rest of their remarkable work at PlanetNutshell.com.
¡Gracias Joshua! It has been a pleasure working with people engaged in helping others understand this beautiful but sometimes complicated world.
A friendly reminder
I’m saying adiós for now. I share this amazing professional experience with you all because I have faith that reading about resilient efforts to better our world through creativity will brighten up your day. Our voices, our talent and our values can reshape our daily approach to life! Take care, stay safe and remember that the light will always be found at the end of the tunnel. We truly look forward to whatever inspiring projects 2021 sends our way from our terrific clients and new ones too, so we can bring their words to life to the best of our ability.