Friday, July 29, 2016

"Stanford Medical Youth Science Program" short film


Here’s a short film (8 minutes), “The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program” (SMYSP).



The program invites high school seniors, usually from lower income areas, to spend five weeks in a summer dorm program learning some basic medicine, with the idea of future medical school in mind.

The  video dates back to 2010, but there may be a newer one.

NBC4 (NBC Washington) had announced on Tuesday, July 26 that it was going to show a report on teens and medical school, but the report never surfaced.  I think it may be related to the Stanford program.

Jack Andraka now attends Stanford. (Books, March 18, 2015;  TV, Nov. 26, 2013)
 
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Stanford main quad gate by King of Hearts under CCSA 3.0 , 2011.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Democratic Convention airs James Cameron's "Not Reality TV" about climate change; why is the video "unlisted"?


The Democratic National Convention aired a 6 minute short film by James Cameron (“Titanic”) Tuesday caround 7:30 PM, “?”.  The title obviously takes aim at Donald Trump’s climate Change denial and plans to tear up agreements.



The film says that much of what is happening now has not happened before., in terms of the scale of major disasters, most of all the western wildfires, as well as Hurricane Sandy.

One point that could be added is that clean energy is also distributed locally, and could be more secure from terror or natural events like solar storms.

Curiously, YouTube says “This film is unlisted, be considerate and think twice before sharing”.  That’s pretty hard to understand, as I found it readily Tuesday night, and obviously the DNC wants everyone to see it as part of the political campaign.  That’s probably a “mistake”.  Despite the advisory, the film provides embed code.   I have seen this advisory before on a particular personal website where, out of context, a particular youth video could have seemed inappropriate.  That’s obviously not the case with something aired in public at the Democratic National Convention.
 
The short could well fit into the Angelika Theaters  (DC area, Dallas, other locations) film chain’s pre-show.  Angelika should consider getting the film from the DNC “legally”.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Adaptive Studios" has a new business model using rejected scripts, smaller novels; also takes over Project Greenlight


Here’s a curious new business model in Hollywood – buying and re-adapting “rejected” (or “dead”) scripts, as explained by Alexandra Alter and Brooks Barnes in Sunday Business in the New York Times, july 24, 2016. Story here.

The Start-Up is called “Adaptive Studios”.

A few of film projects with this model will be “Coin Heist”, “Mary Rose”, and “The Silence of Six” (which may vaguely resemble the Texas-made “Jackrabbit” which I reviewed on Wordpress yesterday).

The company is said to be reviving “Project Greenlight”, in which I have participated before.  I’ll have to look into this.



The company also works with Barnes and Noble and with some book authors, mostly in genre fiction (horror, fantasy, sci-fi, etc), stuff that gets “pimped” on Amazon and YouTube  (and especially Twitter) a lot these days.  There are serious issues with author control of the material, and about intellectual property ownership.


The business model helps reinforce the old "Third Party Rule" in Hollywood, that scripts have to go through "third party agents" (a lot of them on Wilshire Blvd) to project intellectual property.  That seems obsolete in the say of super-indie film and Internet-published screenplays,

I do wonder how my scripts like "Do Ask, Do Tell: Epiphany" and "Titanium" would fare.

Reminder: Most of my larger new reviews are being done on Wordpress ("Bill's Media Commentary").

Monday, July 25, 2016

"How the Republican Party Went from Lincoln to Trump": Vox short film



Johnny Harris and Andrew Prokop have created a short film for Vox, “How the Republican Party Went from Lincoln to Trump”.



Note the 2013 bipartisan agreement between “Little Rubio” and the Democrats on immigration, which many working class “white men” resented.

It’s interesting that the Republican Party was the natural supported of African Americans until the 1870s.

Vox has a 6-minute short film narrate by Amanda Taub, "Authoritarianism: The Political Science that Explains Trump".  Psychological polls show that people drawn to authoritarianism expect obedience and respect from their kids, not curiosity or independence.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Richard Harmon is in short "Portal vs. Pokemon vs. Stargate"


Richard Harmon (Danny in “Judas Kiss”) stars in a Pokemon short film, “Portal vs. Pokemon vs. Stargate: Wheel of Memes 01” (5 minutes), with a “29-year-old” named Alex.  It gets a little intimate and brings back the charisma of a Danny-like character.


I’ll let the action with the Pokemon characters speak for itself.  Richard Harmon ("just a big ball of sunshine") is still “the greatest of all time” (as per Timo). 

This short also accompanies a trailer for  a fan film, “PokemonApocalypse”. 
  
I must admit, I haven’t download Pokemon yet or tried to play it.  Chess would keep me busy enough. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Island in the Sky": Grandfather Mountain (Clemson Expedition)


The Grandfather Mountain park near Linville NC shows a 27 minute short film called “Island in the Sky” about one of the Blue Ridge’s highest peak.  (It is the highest Peak if Mount Mitchell doesn’t count since Mitchell is behind the main ridge.) The film is produced by Clemson as part of its Expedition series.

The  film, narrated by Patrick McMillan, shows that the ecosystems on the mountain are unusual because of the steep slopes and rapid elevation change, and partly because the mountain is the highest peak around, exaggerating the Bernoulli winds and extreme conditions(the highest winds are typically around 110 mph, whereas on Mt. Washington NH they can go over 200 mph).  The life systems at the 5900-foot peak (the parking area and swinging bridge are at exactly one mile elevation, like Denver) resemble those probably those in northern Quebec.


At the end of the film, biologists have to show their rappelling skills to get samples.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Vox: "America's Gun Problem: Explained"


Vox has an informative short film called “America’s Gun Problem: Explained”, at the end of this article.

 The film, with some animation and charts, shows that the when guns are available, domestic disputes, petty crimes, and especially suicide attempts are likely to be much deadlier. On the other hand, in some situations, individual citizens might not be as able to protect themselves against deliberately targeted foreign or terror attacks.  That’s what happened in France.
  


The US has a much more lax system in allowing citizens to buy guns than European countries, which usually require an explanation as to what the owner wants to do, safety certification, and custody of weapons.  But the Swiss actually require males to own weapons and serve in the military.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

"We Believe": history of Amish and Mennonite faiths, and the "morality" of watching the outside world


The 17-minute film “We Believe”, shown at the Mennonite Information Center  on Highway 30 just east of Lancaster PA, directed by Joel Kauffmann, gives a history of the Amish and Mennonite faiths as they evolved in Europe in the 17th century after the Protestant Reformation and major crackdown by governments. 

The movements arose from the Anabaptists, who believed in adult baptism upon profession of faith (part of the modern mainstream American and Southern conventions).


The first settlement was near Philadelphia around 1689.  The Mennonites and Amish developed a very personalized faith.  In the early 19th century, both groups could live off the land in Pennsylvania with little attention to the outside world.  With wars and modernism, the old order Amish took the position that they should live on faith alone, without technology, and even without more than an eight grade education in some groups. The Mennonites were more accepting of modernism, and participating in the larger world.

For me, interest in the outside world, and a belief that it matters, has always been a big issue in my relations with other people.



I got there too late for the tour of the Tabernacle model.