May, 2013

Ever wonder what makes young, pretty, “good” girls pursue careers in porn?

So did Deborah Anderson, that’s why she made a documentary and fine-art photography book on the subject. “Aroused” opens in select theaters Thursday and is available for download on iTunes. The book is available on Amazon.

Many of the 16 adult-film actresses featured in “Aroused” attended the film’s premiere Wednesday night at the Landmark Theatre and hung around afterward to autograph the coffee-table book.

Anderson was inspired to explore these women’s stories after casting a porn star in a photo shoot for a magazine. She was struck by the woman’s warm personality and her stories of harsh treatment from the public despite contributing to a widely consumed product of a billion-dollar industry.

The porn stars in the film don’t see themselves as failed actresses. They say they enjoy their work and see off-duty sex as having nothing to do with their day jobs. All say they’ve had sexually transmitted diseases. Most share concern for how others view their profession and worry whether this could impede future job or romantic prospects.

Anderson said she hopes the book and film will spotlight the humanity of these women and the sensuality of their work.


Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen on Twitter at .www.twitter.com/APSandy

SOURCE: thearousedproject.com [via Huffington Post]

Apr, 2013

California’s Silicon Valley is a microcosm of America’s new extremes of wealth and poverty. Business is better than it’s been in a decade. Facebook, Google and Apple have minted hundreds of new tech millionaires. But not far away, the homeless are building tent cities along a creek in the city of San Jose. Homelessness rose 20 percent in the past two years, food stamp participation is at a 10-year high, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up a quarter of the population, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year — in a place where the average rent is $2000 a month.

[ORIGINAL: By Moyers & Company, via UpWorthy]

Apr, 2013

Directed by Ryan Staake (ryanstaake.com)

Dominos & Kinetics: Kinetic King (Tim Fort)
Production Companies: Pier Pictures and Pomp&Clout (pompandclout.com)
Directors of Photography/Steadicam: TS Pfeffer & Robert McHugh
Gaffer/AC/DIT: Jacob Ritley
Post Production: Pomp&Clout
Sound Design: Aaron Wallace

Shot at The Ohage House, St. Paul, MN (ohagehouse.com)
Arrow Wireless HDMI transmitter graciously provided by Paralinx (paralinx.net)

Behind The Scenes: vimeo.com/63639962

[via co.CREATE]

Apr, 2013

From Jezebel:

“Sketches,” a new project from Dove, is an interesting look at self-esteem and ingrained standards of beauty. As seen in the clip above, the experiment involves women sitting down in a room with forensic artist Gil Zamora. They are separated by a curtain: He doesn’t see them; they can’t see what he’s doing. Zamora asks the women to describe their faces, feature by feature.

“Tell me about your chin,” he prompts.

“It kind of protrudes a little bit, especially when I smile,” one woman says.

After Zamora is finished drawing each woman, a stranger who has just met each of the women who have been drawn comes in and Zamora starts a new sketch, based on the stranger’s description. The end result? When the women described themselves, the sketches showed faces full of “flaws”; when a stranger described them, the sketches were more accurate and more flattering. In the video, one woman tears up as she realizes her self-description resulted in a “fatter, sadder” version of herself, while a stranger saw her as “open, friendly and happy.”

Dove explains:

Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. At Dove, we are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. So, we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.

We know this. We know this! We know that we’re inundated with zillions of cultural cues, thanks to advertising, magazines, movies and TV shows. Skin should be clear, wrinkle-free and poreless, faces symmetrical, noses straight and pert, teeth Chiclet-white, hair shiny, cheekbones prominent, eyes big and framed by long lashes. We know this. We know a woman’s self-esteem plummets after looking at a woman’s magazine or Facebook — and even plus-size models make women feel like crap. Brands and magazines release lists of the most beautiful or the sexiest women and they are always thin, with symmetrical faces, narrow noses and wide eyes. Our culture breeds an atmosphere in which it feels like makeup is not a choice. A woman can always be improved, is never good enough the way she is. The number one go-to insult for a woman is always “fat and ugly,” since our society rewards, praises and exalts the thin and pretty. The entire system is set up to have us believe they are the only ones “worth” something.

Dove has been committed to the social mission of building positive self-esteem for years; in 2004 the brand launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty; in 2006 the Dove Self-Esteem Fund was started. The company actually conducted a similar experiment in 2009 and 2011. All well and good, but let’s not forget: Dove is owned by Unilever. Unilever sells the infamous skin-lightening cream Fair and Lovely in India. Unilever also shills Axe, the bodyspray for men that often employs sexist advertising. (And yes, Unilever also owns Ben & Jerry’s, yum.)

That said, the experiment does reinforce some truths, both sad and interesting. Women are conditioned to play down our looks; as discussed, most of us seldom utter the words “I’m pretty.” On the other hand, women aim to please and are conditioned to be polite, so of course the strangers described the women using flattering terms and didn’t say, “she had deep wrinkles in her forehead,” or “her eyes were small,” even if they noticed. Or maybe they did notice, but didn’t feel it was important. The underlying lesson — that we’re hard on ourselves and stuff like a protruding chin or large forehead isn’t a big deal unless you make it a big deal — is one worth learning and holding on to. The experiment definitely leaves you wondering how you would describe yourself, and how it might vary from the way others would describe you. It’s unclear whether or not this sells Dove soap/lotion/bodywash, but it certainly raises brand awareness, and you might just look at the shelf and think, you know what, Dove cares about my feelings, I’ll try this deodorant that’s supposed to make my armpits better.

Oh, and as a YouTube commenter points out:

This experiment probably has the opposite results for men.

Dove ‘Sketches’ Examines Women’s Perception of Themselves [AdRants]

Dove Real Beauty Sketches [Dove]

Earlier: Why Don’t Women Say ‘I’m Pretty?’ Here Are Ten Reasons

Apr, 2013

After a couple suffers the loss of their child, the grieving father undergoes a life-changing procedure that permanently numbs him from emotional stress and pain. In TRANSCENDED writer/director Cole Paviour imagines a world where you may choose to  feel absolutely nothing at all and offers a glimpse at the dangerous repercussions of what that means.

Cole Paviour

Cole Paviour
Toryn Westcott

Sophie Blackburn
Mathew Lenzi
Cole Paviour
Toryn Westcott

Olivia played by Sarah Sweeney
Bruce played by Alex Gatehouse
Mt. Transcendence played by Tiago Morelli

Photographer: Toryn Westcott
Sound Rercordist: Tiago Morelli
SFX/Makeup: Steph Bentham
Art Department: Mathew Lenzi
Editor/VFX: Alex Burt
Composer: Steve Nolan

Apr, 2013

I’ve been aware of Bitcoin for a while but never completely understood what it was. In BITCOIN EXPLAINED, director and animator Duncan Elms along with writer Marc Fennell (whom also provides the voice over) brilliantly illustrates what Bitcoin is (a decentralized digital currency), how it works, and how it’s used.

This was a personal project by Duncan Helms. Jump over to the vimeo page for Bitcoin Explained if you would like to make a Bitcoin donation for the video.