Neglected Sky

In this fast-paced animation, youth producer John Cooney shows us that a little effort can go a long way in reversing global warming.

More About Neglected Sky from Citizens for Global Solutions

The idea to submit a movie to the Citizens for Global Solutions National Flash Contest came to John Cooney as he sat in his science and society class in his hometown college, the University of California, Davis. A Techno-Cultural Study major, Cooney wanted to produce a film that tackled a global environmental issue and offered a comprehensive solution. What came from this epiphany was Neglected Sky, a Flash movie that focused on the threats of global warming and the need for greater environmental standards.

Although Cooney had used Flash before, he had never submitted his work to a national competition. Consequently, when word came that he had won the contest, and with it a $1,000 cash prize and the rights to have his film be Citizens for Global Solution's promotional clip for 2006, Cooney was both "thrilled and shocked." "This is the first contest I have ever won," said Cooney, "and it feels great to know that people liked my animation and the message it gave."

Cooney's entry, which traces the ordeals of a little black stripe as it stops environmentally disastrous acts, was done with an imaginative craftiness that belied his age. In the film, the protagonist line comes down from space to save a penguin from a melting Antarctic iceberg, stop a stick-figured man from driving a pollution-emitting car, and successfully lobby the President to sign the Kyoto Protocols. In part, Cooney's clip is inspirational because, as he notes, it shows that even the simplest of heroes (a black line) can have the courage and ambition to fight the world's problems.

Although he knew that he wanted to produce a movie based upon environmental concerns, Cooney admitted that he had no set plan on how best to produce his Flash film. "I didn't know how I was going to get there, but when I start animating, things just started coming together and I felt like I could express my thoughts." Over the course of approximately two weeks, working three to four hours a day, Cooney gradually put together Neglected Sky.

Since Neglected Sky won the Citizens for Global Solutions National Flash Movie Contest, John Cooney has had his work featured in The Davis Enterprise. He has also continued to produce Flash frame pictures and posted work on his personal website.

Cooney claims the experience was a giant success. "[The contest] was a great experience," Cooney remarked. "It makes perfect sense to have a Flash contest concerning global issues. Putting the animation on the internet pushes that idea even further, allowing people from all over the world to be reached. I learned a lot just from watching the other contest entries."
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