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Regarding the FIRESTORM – The First 12 Hours Project:

I imagine you are wondering about the status of FIRESTORM – The First 12 Hours.

In the process of finding funding and making a rough edit for the planned 55-minute feature film FIRSTORM – The First 12 Hours, at the request of the Sonoma County Historical Museum, we created a short (15 min) version of the film. It screened twice at the museum and got very good reviews.

11th Annual Annual Sonoma County Student Film Festival (Photo courtesy SRJC)

Because of the great response from the museum screening, the “FIRESTORM Short” was submitted into six film festivals. Five of those are in the Bay-Area and one is in the Mid-West. The first one to accept our submission is the Annual Sonoma County Student Film Festival. This event will take place on April 5 on the Petaluma Campus of the Santa Rosa Junior College. Please come and see this wonderful short on the big screen! Because I am still a film student at the Santa Rosa Junior College, I got the opportunity to submit the short. This is the third year I have had a project selected for screening in this festival. For more information about this festival click here: Student Film Festival

To take the project further, and make the feature film we originally conceived, will take resources we currently do not have. It will require some further editing by a professional editor, animations, some sound design and the film score. We have the connections but not the funds.

The likely direction now is to use the film short as a springboard to acquire funding to finish the feature. After the short gets an award to two from festivals, we will use it as part of grant applications and/or as part of a Seed & Spark fundraising campaign to raise the funds, probably around $12,000.00, needed to complete the feature.

With that said, regardless of where the film goes now, whether you are an interview subject, a financial contributor or a team member, I want to thank all of you for your contributions. We could not have even made this short film without all of your help. Let us cross our fingers and hope for more success!

Other News:

We are happy to report we are bringing on two new board members. However, we are sad to report; we also lost a board member.

We completed a promotional video for the First Congregational United Church of Christ. They are happy with the final product and they will be using it on their website. It is available to view here: YouTube

We just finished shooting a live performance of Soul Fuse. They performed at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma as the solo act for a Maria Carrillo High School benefit concert. We are excited to begin the edit for that project.

And finally, we are going to provide staff to shoot a special top-secret event coming up. Stay tuned to learn what that is in a future post.

Thanks for visiting!!

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It has been a while since I posted because things have been a bit crazy and are not going according to the way I thought they would. Regardless, things are still moving forward. We are still working on creating content from FIRESTORM – The First 12 Hours for the Sonoma County History Museum - the Director has been working very hard with our Editor on that piece. In the meantime, I have been working hard on learning social media to help promote the project – like learning how to do this blog thing.

In my quest to learn as much as I can about social media, and being the avid reader that I am, I picked up the book “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy” By Siva Vaidhyanathan to learn more about the social impacts of social media. I found the book very provocative and I want to share with you my thoughts about it in the form of a quasi book-review.

One of the things that struck me is how much data about us Facebook collects for their purposes without thoughtful oversight. It reminded me of how out of control social media is in general.

In the book, Vaidhyanathan chronicles the history of Facebook and describers its evolution from a simple application to connect people (originally called “FaceMash”) to a platform that could generate massive amounts of money through advertising, and then into one of the two largest data collection tools the world has ever seen.

I will share a couple things in the book that really struck me by paraphrasing what the author said and elaborating.

First Vaidhyanathan described his observation of how Mark Zuckerberg lacked the life experiences and understanding necessary to make serious predictions about how people would respond to his ambition to “connect people” by using data about people to help make those connections. The very mechanisms that FB uses to join people to each other together have created “tribes” of like thinking people who end up in a “box” that they are reluctant to think outside of. Add to this set of demographics targeted messages, not just advertisements for products but, messages with false content that motivates people into action and you get a recipe for disaster. Such a disaster we are now very familiar with…

The second thing Vaidhyanathan did was draw a conclusion that the users of Facebook are actually not getting something for “free” when they use the service without paying money for it. Vaidhyanathan described the users of Facebook as “Cows that Facebook milks for information” - essentially “tools” that the company uses to get a job done. That is something I totally agree with.

To be fair, Vaidhyanathan does go into some of the advantages of the platform and he describes its potential for good and not evil. However, until we become a republic that is willing to institute standards, norms and regulations (similar to what some countries are just beginning to do) it is just going to get further out of control. Then it won’t be long before nobody can tell what’s real anymore because they only see what they want to see – kind of like the lyrics in the song Nowhere Man by the Beatles “He’s as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere Man can you see me at all?”

Thank you and good day.

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As a follow up to the last Blog post, I want to let you all know that we are nearly finished creating six three-minute sequences to put into the Sonoma County Historical Museum’s exhibition “From the Fire – A Community Reflects and Rebuilds” that we will share with you once they are finished. Check back next week to see how that’s going.

In the meantime, we have also been very busy working on a project that we were keeping under wraps. It’s a music video we helped with The People Will rise Up, by a popular music band called Soul Fuse. Check it out here on the websites Home Page: 50+ Films

This video was shot at two studios, Prairie Sun Recording Studio in Cotati and The Live Musicans Co Op in Santa Rosa as the band was recording a record. We shot five days over a period to several months to shoot and another several weeks to edit and the video. It looks like we had a bunch of cameras but except for the first day of shooting, we only shot with two. The edit itself was a labor of love with over 30 tracks of video! All of which has to be synced to the music track!

Check out the bottom left monitor - over 30 tracks of synced video!
Check out the bottom left monitor - over 30 tracks of synced video!

Most importantly is the message of the song: “The People Will Rise Up”. The message behind the music is to get out and vote if you want to make a change in how our government is working. So please – if you have not yet registered to vote PLEASE DO!

And also, feel free to comment on the music video to let us know what you think –we love feedback!!

Things change often on the website so keep checking back – we are currently finishing up a promotional video for a local church that we will feature on the websites main page sometime soon so be on the lookout for that too!

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