DEATH AND TAXIDERMY
(Short documentary, 23 minutes)
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of stuffing animals. The compulsion to keep animals intact after death goes back to ancient Egypt, where animals of all description were mummified. Though the methods and motivations have changed, the desire has remained pretty constant. This video won second place in the 2016 Raw Science Film Festival category of “professional documentary longer than 10 minutes.”Animated by Jacob Rivkin.
A CONFUSED WAR – trailer
(Short documentary trailer, 2 minutes. Full film – 26 minutes)
VISIT THE FILM’S WEBSITE – www.aconfusedwar.com
Richmond, California has long been one of the state’s most dangerous cities. In 2007, this city of 100,000 logged 47 homicides, one of the highest murder rates in the country. But by 2012, that number had dropped from 47 to 18. This short documentary examines the city’s bold, controversial, and surprisingly successful efforts to tame the violence. Published on Al Jazeera America, March 2015.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE TRAILERS GONE?
(Short documentary, 19 minutes)
What do Hurricane Katrina and North Dakota’s Bakken oil field have in common? The answer, it turns out, is the same toxic trailers. Ten years after the storm people are still living in the notorious formaldehyde-laden trailers, often very far from New Orleans and often with no knowledge of their toxicity.
Published with accompanying article and interactive map at Grist.org, August, 2015.
YOUNG AND POSITIVE
(Short documentary, 12 minutes)
This short documentary follows Breiyana Pointer and Joelle Lord, both in their twenties, both living with HIV. Highly active antiretroviral drugs have turned HIV, once a death sentence, into a chronic manageable disease. But many people living with HIV, particularly the young, don’t take their medication properly—despite grave consequences for themselves and society. Produced for Distillations video
COMIC DRAMA: ILLUSTRATING THE MANHATTAN PROJECT
(Video, 3 minutes)
Jonathan Fetter-Vorm wrote and illustrated Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb. He describes the process in his Brooklyn studio. Produced for Distillations video.
MAKING AND KNOWING (FAKE) CORAL
(Video, 4 minutes)
In a cramped lab, historians from Columbia University and the Chemical Heritage Foundation are reconstructing a 16th-century workshop by re-creating recipes from an anonymous craftsperson’s manuscript. One of the recipes being pursued is for imitation coral, a popular material in early modern jewelry and home décor. Produced for Distillations video.
THE ORIGINAL BLUE LED
(Video, 3 minutes)
Days after the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to three Japanese-born scientists for their work with LED lights, historian of science and technology Benjamin Gross and retired physicist Jonathan Allen visited The College of New Jersey’s Sarnoff Collection, a small electronics museum. Their target: what they described as the original blue LED, made in 1972 by an RCA researcher named Herb Maruska. With Herb on speakerphone (hooked up to one of the collection’s antique speakers, of course), Ben and Jonathan set out to light up the old contraption. Produced for Distillations video.
A GOOD DEATH
(Video, 6 minutes)
Megan Rosenbloom is a medical librarian and co-founder of the Death Salon, a group focused on mortality and its role in culture and history. She discusses how American death culture changed after the Civil War, and what she plans to do with her body after she dies. Produced for Distillations video.
AUTISM WITH TWINS
(Video, 2 minutes)
Christopher and Gerald Dixon seem like any other pair of twins. They look alike, dress similarly and play together. But Gerald is autistic and Christopher isn’t. They were one of 1,100 twin pairs who participated in the largest ever study of Autism in twins, the California Autism Twins Study (CATS). The study found that the environment plays a much bigger role in causing autism than previously thought.
UP IN THE AIR: A HISTORY OF HOT AIR BALLOONING
(Video, 12 minutes)
Author, biographer, and balloon enthusiast Richard Holmes describes the early days of hot air ballooning. Archival images illustrate the tales of adventure, whimsy, and scientific exploration that make up the history of the pursuit. Produced for Distillations video.
LEGACIES OF MOTHERHOOD
(Multimedia video, 7 minutes)
This short multimedia video tells the story of two young women navigating adolescence in East Oakland, California. As children of Cambodian refugees, the legacies of war and upheaval still permeate their lives. This three-part video tells the story of four generations of Cambodian-American women from the perspectives of Thavery, Cynthia, and Cynthia’s grandmother, Son Cheng.
LEMONADE: A VISUAL AND MUSICAL POEM
(Music Video, 2 minutes)
This visual poem re-imagines the song “Lemonade,” by Coco Rosie. It uses a shortened version of the song and images from Oakland and Napa, California.