“Valleys”: Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

On with the show!

Our congratulations to Mike Lang (Director) and Amy Aubin (Star) of the soon to launch web documentary “Valleys”.  In the final days of crowd-funding, this dynamic duo managed to raise an impressive $18,000 via Kickstarter.

As the Director of Photography for the Toronto portion of this series I am pleased to know that “Valleys” will be developed as Mike originally intended. It was evident when the trailer was launched last week that Amy’s story was powerful and necessary to share.

We look forward to updating you on “Valleys” as news becomes available.

Here’s a snippet from Amy’s blog – sharing her excitement: Wow – so Valleys the movie will be happening; in 30 days we managed to raise our goal of $17,000.00 thanks to a lot of people with big hearts!  Mikey said he had never raised this much and well neither had I; this past weekend we had our doubts as we had been stuck at the $5,000.00 mark but today we made it to $17,000.00 so thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has helped in any and every way.  No effort or donation is too small and I thank all of you from the bottom of my [...] 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

Patient Commando attends Health Council of Canada’s National Symposium on Patient Engagement

During the Health Council of Canada Symposium on Patient Engagement Daniel Stolfi, star of Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, disclosed that his tipping point to becoming an engaged patient, came when he was being over medicated in error and suffering bad side effects but no healthcare providers were listening.

Healthcare leaders across the country came together to learn how to improve patient engagement and increase safety and improve outcomes at the Allstream centre in Toronto.

Daniel presented his patient story to inform the system on how to improve communications between doctors and patients and increase the state of collaboration. His presentation was funny, deeply personal and moving. The crowd was animated and laughing.

A report of the symposium is promised to be released this winter.

Be sure to sign up for Patient Commando’s newsletter for updates and to receive a free copy of our white paper:  On a New Frontier of Patient Engagement.

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