Producer Shane DeRolf conveys the concept of extinction through his Yesterday’s Zoo project.
During the Wildlife Conservation Network’s October 2010 Wildlife Expo, mongabay.com encountered an animation that powerfully illustrates the concept of biodiversity loss in less than two-and-a-half minutes.
Yesterday’s Zoo recounts species that have disappeared and warns that a similar fate could befall many more unless urgent conservation action is taken. The animation is being used to raise money for wildlife protection efforts.
In a March Q&A with Shane DeRolf, President & Executive Producer of Yesterday’s Zoo, Mongabay learned more the project.
MONGABAY: What is your background?
SHANE DEROLF: My background has been a quirky combination of creativity and business focused on developing original products and programming for kids and their parents.
In no particular order, I am (or was):
1. Children’s book author
2. Founder and president of Random House Entertainment
3. Creator and Emmy® award-winning producer of a public television series called BIG GREEN RABBIT
4. Webby® award-winning designer of the website above
5.Co-founder of WORLD POG FEDERATION®, an international toy phenomenon of the mid-90s played with milkcaps.
I could go on but your eyes are likely to glaze over even more.
MONGABAY: Yesterday’s Zoo communicates a powerful message–what inspired you to develop the idea?
SHANE DEROLF: I’m a message freak who’s lucky enough to be able to write. I think Yesterday’s Zoo delivers a message about conservation and saving endangered species in a pretty neat way and I’m a firm believer that if you can touch the heart, you can reach the head. And when both are united for good, positive change can happen.
MONGABAY: What is the business model for Yesterday’s Zoo?
SHANE DEROLF: Yesterday’s Zoo™ began as a poem I wrote 20 years ago. It’s a message whose time has finally come. Today, Yesterday’s Zoo is a comprehensive children’s multimedia brand designed to promote conservation and help save endangered species by raising awareness through entertainment and inspiring donations and generating revenues to individuals and non-profits on the front lines of conservation worldwide.
There are Five Pillars to the Yesterday’s Zoo brand:
1. Yesterday’s Zoo Children’s Book: A 38-page picture book, Yesterday’s Zoo begins and ends with a dream. It is a dream shared by all the extinct animals since the beginning of time for their brothers and sisters of today. Yesterday’s Zoo connects our past with our present in a simple yet powerful way while reminding us there is still hope for tomorrow.
2. Public Service Announcement (PSA): Two-minute animated PSA written and produced by Emmy award-winning team of writers, composers, and animators that is available to zoos, aquariums, and non-profits as part of their marketing and fundraising strategies. Check it out at www.YesterdaysZoo.com
3. My Friends Today™: Grassroots marketing and PR campaign designed to engage and inspire kids to promote conservation using media and the arts with a focus on endangered species at their local zoo, aquarium, or non-profit.
4. The Zooby™ Awards: The “Emmy of Conservation”, the Zooby award represents the highest level of personal and professional achievement in promoting conservation using media and the arts. And, it’s just for kids!
5. Merchandising & Licensing: 5% of all revenue generated from Yesterday’s Zoo merchandising and licensing will be donated to non-profits committed to conservation and working to save endangered species.
MONGABAY: What would you like to accomplish with Yesterday’s Zoo?
SHANE DEROLF: We are looking to partner with zoos, aquariums, and non-profits committed to conservation that are interested in using Yesterday’s Zoo to find innovative ways to raise awareness, generate revenues, and inspire donations to make an even bigger difference in the lives of endangered species and their habitats around the world.
MONGABAY: What’s next for Yesterday’s Zoo?
SHANE DEROLF: March is a busy month for Yesterday’s Zoo. March 7th- 11th will find us at the ZACC conference in Seattle hoping to meet and make a number of new friends.
From March 20th-24th, Yesterday’s Zoo will be exhibiting in Chattanooga at the AZA Mid-Year Meeting.
And in our spare time, we’ll be further developing the merchandising line and launching the Yesterday’s Zoo children’s book at a number of readings and speaking engagements across the country.
And occasionally sleeping. Maybe.