Two “Patients” Could Use Your Vote

It’s this time each year that I notice an increased excitement, a buzz, in most of the people I work with. Some would account this behaviour to the onset of Spring, but I say it’s for a different season altogether.  The Webby Award season.

Each year the Webby Awards honour the best of the web.  Now in their 16th year, their ever expanding categories include interactive, mobile and apps. If TED talks are the new innovative “ideas worth spreading” then the Webbys are the ideas that have worked.  The creative eyes of the world tune into this award ceremony each year and just about every agency wants their work showcased here.

Our congratulations then to the individuals, agencies and foundations that saw TWO (2) patient stories listed on this year’s nominee ballot.

Under the online film & video category of Public Service and Activism both Dear 16-year-old Me by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund and Living With Alzheimer’s by Relate Digital for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, (featured below respectively) are listed.

 

While next year’s ballot will most likely include KONY 2012 (lessons to learn when your campaign goes viral), this year, it’s all about the patient.  We’re asking you, our community to help make these videos even [...] continue the story

“Valleys”: A DP’s Perspective

Last week I was whisked away to Georgetown, Ontario. A young and talented Director from Alberta had hired me as his Director of Photography and all encompassing “camera guy”, for his newly envisioned web series.

Mike Lang, is the Director, and “Valleys” is his new project.

Diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 25, Mike rapidly launched Survive & Thrive Expeditions, an organization that seeks to  connect young adult cancer patients with peers. Whether it’s a whitewater trip down a river or a serene sailing trip along the inlets of Canada’s west coast – Survive & Thrive (STE) has provided much needed solitude and support to courageous patients.

 

 

And if this wasn’t enough, Mike had cameras rolling the entire time. During these past few years Mike has cut together footage of his expeditions and the intimate interviews captured between survivors.

With this he has already created  two uniquely inspirational and mind expanding films, “Wrong Way to Hope” and “Ebb & Flow”.  Mike’s films have been used as educational materials by health institutes to provide a common link between practitioners and patients.

Determined isn’t quite enough to describe Mike as he now tackles creating his third film project in only a few short years.

With the next STE [...] continue the story

Awareness Campaigns Get Sexy

“Sex sells”, or so the adage goes.

It seems to me that shortly after Old Spice launched their “Old Spice Guy” campaign in February of 2010, spots and moreover online advertising has shifted; More hunks, more babes and more views for everyone.

The Old Spice Guy campaign was undoubtably successful.  Product sales doubled and Old Spice’s YouTube channel has accumulated almost 250,000,000 views, not to mention dozens of industry awards. As one blogger put it, The Old Spice Guy is perfect, obviously. Zero body fat, the supernatural ability to embody masculine ideals, and a baritone deadpan delivery that instantly unleashes awesome into the world. For Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturer of Old Spice, the campaign was a home run.  It not only got them paid but re-energized a failing brand into one that younger generations could connect with. Not an easy task when competitors like Unilever’s AXE are prevailing.

After a year of review and the financials tallied, more cautious and the commonly less “sexy” sectors are taking notice. Enter the health industry.

Of course it wasn’t going to be health organizations taking the plunge into creating daring content first.  When you’re a non-profit and your funding comes from an established foundation, one doesn’t “rock the boat.” This rings [...] continue the story

“The Market” Broadcasts Across Canada

Hot Docs 2011 Don Haig Award Winner

Twelve years ago, when I was still living in India, I had maids who had scars. When they used to casually tell us they had sold their kidneys, I did not see it as a symptom of a larger evil. -Rama Rau, Director

Every 3 days a Canadian dies waiting for a new kidney; in the US it’s a person a day. Where do patients go to fill the gap?

Filmmaker Rama Rau’s revealing documentary “The Market” follows individual stories that explore the larger issues surrounding the organ trade – and looks at these issues from both a Western point of view as well as from the point of view of people selling their organs. What are the ethics of organ buying and selling? And, what would we ourselves do if we were forced into a similar dilemma?

In a slum in Chennai, India most of the fishermen are in post-trauma conditions, having witnessed or been in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. They simply refuse to go back to the sea for their livelihood, and to survive, their wives have taken to selling their kidneys to feed the children. The tsunami has accelerated what is [...] continue the story

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