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Fascinating finding on people’s reactions to requests for help depending on the light in which the situation is presented from The Boston Globe 3/31/13. The blurb on the academic study frames it around charitable fundraising and asserts that asking people to “prevent a decrease” is more likely to attain a result than asking to “cause an increase”.

Fascinating finding on people’s reactions to requests for help depending on the light in which the situation is presented from The Boston Globe 3/31/13. The blurb on the academic study frames it around charitable fundraising and asserts that asking people to “prevent a decrease” is more likely to attain a result than asking to “cause an increase”.

Science fiction’s most influential writer may not have lived to see the premiere of Blade Runner, the troubled and maligned-on-release adaptation of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? from director Ridley Scott, but unlike most everyone else during the run up to its release he predicted its immense impact to come. In this letter from the website of his estate (kudos to Open Culture for posting this!) he discusses his anticipation for it, while he was unfortunately wrong about its commercial prospects, the film has survived the studio’s fears and tampering and audiences’ initial confusions to become probably the most acclaimed science fiction film of all time and endures to this day as a most-watch film for all genre and film fans alike. It is sad that the studio’s cuts and horrid voiceover additions turned a high brow film into a more muddled mess and robbed the film of its chance to make a great first showing and has instead needed the vocal members of its cult believers to continue to spread its influence, but thankfully they have allowed Scott to slowly but surely restore the film to what he intended it to be with the much improved director’s cut and the incredible 2007 ‘Final Cut’.
It’s interesting that a large number of the author’s fans usually bring up how much it departed from the source material, and yet the closest thing we have to a reaction to it from the author himself is effusive praise.

Science fiction’s most influential writer may not have lived to see the premiere of Blade Runner, the troubled and maligned-on-release adaptation of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? from director Ridley Scott, but unlike most everyone else during the run up to its release he predicted its immense impact to come. In this letter from the website of his estate (kudos to Open Culture for posting this!) he discusses his anticipation for it, while he was unfortunately wrong about its commercial prospects, the film has survived the studio’s fears and tampering and audiences’ initial confusions to become probably the most acclaimed science fiction film of all time and endures to this day as a most-watch film for all genre and film fans alike. It is sad that the studio’s cuts and horrid voiceover additions turned a high brow film into a more muddled mess and robbed the film of its chance to make a great first showing and has instead needed the vocal members of its cult believers to continue to spread its influence, but thankfully they have allowed Scott to slowly but surely restore the film to what he intended it to be with the much improved director’s cut and the incredible 2007 ‘Final Cut’.

It’s interesting that a large number of the author’s fans usually bring up how much it departed from the source material, and yet the closest thing we have to a reaction to it from the author himself is effusive praise.

Afghanistan Youth Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall

Wow, this is an incredibly moving story, though it’s sad to think how much the future of this organization is in doubt given the future of the country, with the Taliban likely to regain power following America’s exit in 2014 this kind of thing is likely to be banned and repressed again. :-(

I really want to go to this concert, looking into it.

Human heroes are so much more powerful than unattainable legends

Let’s remember MLK not as the unassailable legend he’s been made into, but as a human, like the rest of us, that lived & breathed & had flaws, doubts and personal struggles outside of his public life, but that gave all he had for what he believed in, for his fellow man. His actions shouldn’t be “remembered” so much as used for inspiration, civil rights go far beyond race & creed, and we have a long way to go even in the first world, but even now we can take that inspiration and what ever voice, time or talent we have towards ensuring the rest of the world (even if for you that means just your community, school, place of work, etc.) reaps the benefits of the inspiration and lessons men like King left for us. 

I bring up things like this a lot, and plenty of that is to remind myself of it as well: 

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Nearly all the ills of this world boil down to people thinking their rights, their lives are more important than those of others, understand we’re all just one of an equal multitude, and all we can truly accomplish while we’re here is making it easier for the rest of us today and those that will follow.

infoshortage:

Aaron Koblin on applying & experiencing with interactive media technology in storytelling. From the 2012 Future of Storytelling Conference.

“I think it’s really actually what makes life worth living, is having rich stories & living our lives through them. I think actually our lives are really just a series of stories we’re telling ourselves”

Koblin talks about narrative projects he’s worked on where the experience mutates as a result of the viewer’s active participation. He speaks about having viewers richly experience a music video about nostalgia for where you come from by having the video tap into Google’s streetview imagery of the viewer’s hometown.

The biggest interest I take here is the potential for extending a documentary project’s reach by finding ways to make it all the easier for the viewer to relate to the issue being depicted. If you reach them where they stand, they’re much more likely to take action beyond just passively watching your film on Netflix, or blogging/tweeting about it at most.

Another way you could branch off of this is thinking about how to make data visualization for your factual content to be more dynamic, interactive, visually rich & personally compelling to the viewer/user. Infographics have been a fairly useful trend in the past few years, they present data starkly in a way that mass audiences will want to consume/learn & share. But they can be shallow or misleading, & they’re static. Transmedia technology can improve on the idea, & can be a great boon for filmmakers/producers.

This is a great jumping off point to start thinking about how you could design experiences for your documentary & factual projects, whether they be about informing people, connecting people, or even just disruptive means of marketing.