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Science Video of the Week! Museum of Science Fiction

Nov 27, 2013


Welcome to the fifth Science Video of the Week feature! Each Wednesday I will post an interesting science video with some comments from either myself or the producer, and will conclude with some questions for discussion. I started this feature for the Women in Film and Video of Washington, DC email list, and I really want to hear your comments as well!

If you created a science video you would like to share, especially ones that had interesting challenges you’d like to discuss, send it to me and we can chat a little about how you approached the production!


Before you watch the video:

This past spring, a group of volunteer science fiction fans assembled to share their variety of talents on an exciting new project. Their mission: to create here in DC a Museum of Science Fiction, “a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination,” according to their website. They want to start by creating a crowd-funded preview museum where visitors can provide input on the programming and exhibits.


Watch the video: [length – 3:03]


After you watch the video:

You probably wouldn’t guess it from watching this video, but most of the people who worked on this production actually are not media professionals. The concept and script were developed by the project’s executive team, who come from a variety of science and entrepreneurial backgrounds, and they brought on volunteers such as American University MFA student (now graduate) Tony Azios, who served as the director and cinematographer. For the video’s spokesperson, they used Mandy Sweeney, the project’s Vice President of Museum Operations, partly to counteract the stereotype of science fiction being the domain of men.


They were going for a video with a high production value, which was a challenge with a very limited budget and a skeleton crew. Tony says, “We wanted to give nods to a lot of science fiction tropes and have imagery and visualizations that science fiction crowds would be accustomed to.” They aimed for an industrial feel, “something that invoked a little bit of spookiness and futuristic mystery,” but they didn’t want it to lean toward the horror aspect of sci-fi. Likewise, they needed a big, open building to shoot in that didn’t have much of a background, in order to have the wide shots necessary to incorporate motion graphics in post-production. Mandy says they were searching for a location for a while before they stumbled upon a warehouse that a friend allowed them to use. One challenge Mandy says she had during the filming was with not losing her voice due to the large fog machine used to obscure the walls. “It was so entirely silly to be standing there and have fog shot at you that you can only have a good sense of humor about it.”


Discuss:

So all of you media professionals, what do you think of a science fiction museum being built in Washington DC?! Also, do you have any other good examples of a video or film that achieved a high production value look with minimal resources?

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