About the Film
The Magical Effect is a 15 minute short documentary exploring how science fiction and fantasy are used to teach science. There are many collegiate courses across the United States that incorporate science fiction into learning about science, from the Physics of Star Trek to categorizing alien lifeforms based on their morphology. This exciting alternative form of education has a lot of potential and I wish to introduce it to a wide variety of audiences.
The film will address how some have used this form of education as well as the limitations one may find when attempting to use science fiction and fantasy to educate. In the end, though, it is important to note that even though our imaginations can come up with fantastic possibilities, the real world is far more amazing than anything we can imagine. As a filmmaker who started out as a scientist and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy her whole like, I understand this very well.
For the film, I will be interviewing two people. One is Charlie Foley from Animal Planet. He is the creator behind Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, Mermaids: The Body Found, and Mermaids: The New Evidence. As a budding filmmaker myself, I am interested in Charlie's opinion on using science fiction and fantasy in documentary. Please note: I am in no way associated or affiliated with Discovery Communications and this film is not a promotion for their network. I am a student filmmaker who is exploring an alternative form of education and I believe Charlie will give great insight into the topic.
The second interview will be with John Romano, a high school teacher at Girard College in Philadelphia. John used to research Komodo dragons, but decided to teach science to high school students when he heard how much students are struggling with science. I will also be filming a debate amongst his students and asking them when they think about science fiction in science education.
These two figures are very compelling both together and on their own. This film will barely scratch the surface of this topic, but it is an important first step in exploring alternative education.
The music in the Kickstarter video is titled "Air Hockey Saloon" and is courtesy of Chris Zabriskie on Free Music Archive.
About the Costs
Traveling to the northeastern portion of the United States is expensive. My crew and I will be flying with all of our gear to New York first. We will then rent a car and drive to Philadelphia and fly out of there back to Bozeman. Fortunately, I am able to obtain all of the gear through my program and crew for free. This means, though, that baggage fees will be more than usual.
Here is the breakdown of costs:
Your donations will be essential to making this production process smooth and successful.
About the Rewards
If you are interested in the Facebook page please go to www.facebook.com/themagicaleffect to check out the production process, fun links to science fiction and educational stories, and feel free to share it with your friends, too.
Letter to a Child
I believe that education is one of the most important things anybody can achieve. I do not want any child to give up on his or her education and I hope that some encouragement will help a child to keep going. This is the inspiration for the letter to a child.
Here is the text that will be on the letter:
Hello (child’s name)!
I heard that you are quite the enchanting dreamer! The world is a wonderful, magical place and it’s just waiting for you to explore it. Your education will take you to places beyond your imagination, from sea creatures that change color to ice planets beyond our solar system.
I hope that you find your passion for whatever it is you find interesting about the world and you use that passion to make the world a better place. Remember, with a lot of hard work, love, and belief in yourself, you can make any dream you imagine come true! That’s the magical effect of education.
Wishing you the best,
Producer and Director for The Magical Effect
You can view a sample letter here:
If you wish for a letter to be sent to any child, whether it be your grandchild, niece, nephew, or your own child, you will be prompted to provide an address and age for the child after the project is funded. I have stickers to put on the letter for younger children and extra words of encouragement for older children, so I would like to know the child's age to know which is most appropriate. If you do not wish to provide the child's age, that is perfectly fine, too!
If we surpass our goal of $6,500, then that allows me to make an even better film! Please, if this project moves you, share it as much as you can and spread the word!
Risks and challenges
Production for any film is a challenging and risky endeavor, especially documentaries. There could be travel delays, lost gear, and weather issues. I have prepared for all potential production issues with my travel and filmmaking experience. Charlie and John are both committed 100%, so there is no risk in either one of them backing out. I understand the importance of being flexible in the creative filmmaking process and much preparation has been made for this film.
Please note that this film is a degree requirement for my pursuit of a Master's of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. This film is guaranteed to premiere at the end of April 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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