About this project
In Passing is my USC graduate thesis film, and the culmination of a lot of years of hard work and dreaming. I've been trying to get it made for a long time and it's finally happening. We start shooting at the end of August, but we still need more help to ensure we have enough money to finish the film, and to do all the of the details just right. It's a technically complicated project with a lot of post production and visual effects, but the important part is the story at its heart. Everyone working on this is doing it as a labor of love, but it's still expensive to get the right equipment and keep everyone fed, and certain things just cost money! Knowing we have the resources to focus on the story will make this so much better. Thanks for reading, and for thinking about contributing to our dream of making a great short film that will stand up to the test of time.
-Alan and the In Passing Team
Yes! In a movie we're shooting in a week!
Very Long Answer, Provided by our Frazzled Scientific Advisor:
I felt that it would be irresponsible of me if I did NOT point out how you have selectively chosen to violate some of the most fundamental laws of the universe, that allow for civilized culture as we know it to exist.
First of all, there is our old friend Newton (this guy: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php…). Whether or not you thank the snake or the human for discovering the universal law of gravitation (or Q if you're a huge Star Trek nerd), is a matter of personal opinion. Nonetheless, the law exists, and has proven to hold in all parts of the universe. Apparently, your 150 story building is external to this law. Let's, for a second, do some math. I have been told that your building is 150 stories high, and that the movie is 4.5 minutes long. An average story is about 10 feet, so we'll say we're looking at 3 m per story. So this means we're dealing with 270 seconds of free fall, for a distance of 450 m. I will assume that this movie takes place on the earth, and relatively close to sea level, so acceleration due to gravitation is 9.8 m/s^2. Excluding drag, this means that it would take an object about 9.6 s to fall this height. I'll be nice, John is apparently wearing a baggy shirt so we can assume this will slow him down some more, so I'll give you 15 s of flight time. 15 seconds! That's a factor of 18 off of the movie time ... so how do we explain this?
Special relativity might jump to mind ... time contraction, expansion, all those funky awesome things Einstein came up with. How else would there be enough time for these star struck lovers have enough time to fall hopelessly head over heels in love only to realize, that soon ... splat. The Lorentz Factor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_factor) is a good way to estimate when relativistic effects are meaningful or not. Order of magnitude speaking, to get a gamma of 10, we need u/c = 0.995. U being the speed they're going at, and c being the speed of light. Roughly speaking, that is 30,000 km/s! Don't even get me started about all the other crazy effects that happen at this speed. Not to mention the insanely huge pothole they would create on landing/explosion. Kinetic energy = 1/2 m v^2, so one person of average build hitting the ground at this speed would be equivalent to approximately 1*10^16 joules worth of energy ... which is roughly 1000 times the energy of a large nuclear bomb. So not only do these lovers not get to live out their lives, but kaboom, bye bye most of the state/province they're in.
So apparently there are some very interesting low speed time slowing-magical effects that are going on here, "the love conquers all" blah blah blah that Einstein would really like to know about.
On a positive note, they are not talking to each other, which was disproven of course by the myth busters (clearly a valid scientific results then) http://mythbustersresults.com/episode94. So this aspect gets my 100% ginger canadian jew rocket scientist seal of approval!
Lastly, and certainly not the least of my worries, is how these lovers meet. John is already traveling extremely fast when he passes the girl's floor, and then they seem to be moving at the same speed to start this air courting routine. I mean, come on ... he just zooms by her in reality, maybe shouts hi, throws a card at her with his number, and then splat. Otherwise he's got a pretty awesome batman style squirrel jacket on that would be sick to have. That being said, there are some equations, known as the Navier-Stokes Equations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navier%E2%80%93Stokes_equations) that describe how any fluid (yes, air is a fluid) flows around an object, or just in general. All this zipping around, aerial dancing, etc, etc is a clear violation of the NS equations. Unless, once again, John's jacket has some sick control units built into it, that let him control his flight, and just zoom around like a flying quirrel. At which point, my only question is how much??? I want one of those jackets. And then, this brings up the question, if John has this ridiculously awesome batman-esque subtle flying jacket, why the splat? Why doesn't he just carry the girl off at the end, and bam, happily every after until she realizes she's not attracted to him and they should just be friends ...
Once again, these are just the thoughts of your self-appointed scientific consultant.
Yale University, BS Mechanical Engineering 2008
California Instiute of Technology, MSc Aerospace Engineering 2009
Ecole Polytechnique, MSc Mechanique de Fluides, 2010
California Institute of Technology, PhD - hopefully before I'm 30 or I will be jumping off a building with a squirrel suit
A huge thank you to Jason for this glowing endorsement. I'm going to go out and apply for the Sloan Science Foundation Grant this very minute!
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