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What does cheating at dice have to do with the fall of Nazi Germany? This cinematic series was inspired by James Burke's Connections
What does cheating at dice have to do with the fall of Nazi Germany? This cinematic series was inspired by James Burke's Connections
88 backers pledged $4,001 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Did you love Cosmos, Connections, Ascent of Man...etc?

My Inspiration:

Apply the template behind the TV show Connections to concepts instead of inventions

I want to explain exciting concepts from Computer Science, Math, Engineering and Economics. Such as: Cryptography, Information Theory, Economic Modeling, Prediction Markets, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Probability Theory, Linguistics, Graph/Network Theory....and much more!

My Idea:

Explore the roots of great conceptual ideas by following the history of problems from which they arose. Each episode will follow one ancient problem and explore how it reoccurs again and again in more modern forms. This allows us to follow conceptual ideas along the context of their inception - making it easier to digest challenging theoretical ideas.

Feminine Perspective:

This program incorporates a strong feminine perspective, which I feel is very important when explaining scientific concepts. I make sure that all scripts are checked by a female editor who comes from a non-technical background and use my wife Lyndsay to narrate the story.

Why do This? 

I learned most of this stuff in school, but it was taught in a way that made it seem inaccessible. I want readers & viewers to viscerally grasp of the key concepts by simulating the process behind an independent realization.

I have been producing video for years and have won a number of National awards which have recognized my unique visual style. I want to put this style to work and make a beautiful & engaging educational program. Something I care deeply about.

What will I do if I'm funded?

I need to finish producing the first episode which follows the history of Cryptography called Gambling with Secrets! It deals with Gambling, World Conflict, Information Theory and much more! There has been only one program on BBC about this stuff around 11 years ago by Simon Singh which dealt with this topic, although it's dated and doesn't provide a solid understanding of the big picture.

I get to touch on tons of neat figures and important events such as: Cardano, Turing, Euclid, Shannon, Caesar, von Neumann, WW1 & WW2, Cold War...how cool is that?

Why do I need money?

The drive behind this idea is to have a great collection of stories to share with my kids (when that day comes). If I did this alone with no funding, I would have to cut tons of corners, it would take forever and I would have to beg artists to work for free again - and I'm growing really tired of doing that! I just need some $ for the ABC's...

A - Finish script & get it edited one final time (It's 95% there but needs some tweaking to expand on Claude Shannon's contribution and new parts on Babbage inspired by 'The Information'). You can check out the script I'm working on here. I have a small team of PhDs in Math and the History of Science to help with fact checking.

B - Shoot the episode. I have most of my own equipment but I need to hire people for art/graphics, sound recording, authentic props & extras for the reenactments. I want this to look beautiful (Cinematography is a passion of mine). A very rough prototype is available for viewing at www.artoftheproblem.net

C - Post Production. I work with two musicians to score original music and sound for the entire episode. By supporting me you are supporting a great team of independent artists.

Why not?

I've been making educational videos since I was 10 years old. This is something I care deeply about, I promise to not disappoint!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    I'll send you a fully illustrated PDF of the first episode. I'll also provide you with access to download a high resolution copy of the video for viewing on iphone/ipad/PC.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Get a high five! Secret prize... TBA

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Listed in video credits & website as project supporter! Also, I'll send you a nicely packaged DVD of the first episode. (or an Art of the Problem T-shirt)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Are you a teacher or do you have kids? I will send you the first episode, along with a custom teachers guide which will explore the concepts behind the video in more detail along with questions and exercises. I can do this for any level, from grade 6 to University.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    (new) Join my team as Associate Producer! You will have ability to review all work in progress during production. Your photo & profile will be posted on the website under creative team.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    (new) Executive Producer credit.

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Funding period

- (35 days)