Directed a teaser for tv show, “City Rock”

Check out a teaser I directed for a television show we are pitching. It’s called City Rock; created and written by the talented Peter Loffredo. I had a great time with this. I don’t usually edit my own stuff, and used this as an opportunity to learn how to use Final Cut Pro better. My friends Deborah and Christopher Mitchell were staying with me for a few weeks and did an amazing job on the edit. I mentioned how I would love baseball cards for the credits and Christopher said he could make that happen.

 

City Rock teaser

SXSW Cares: Raising money for Japan

I met these two wonderful women in the blogger lounge yesterday. In the past 27 hours they have now raised $13,000 for the American Red Cross, to aid Japan.

One of the founders, Leigh Durst said it was an interesting problem. At SXSW there is so much talk about who is influential. How do you reach influencers? These three founders, Leigh Durst, Deb Ng and Rob Woo have become overnight influencers. Sitting in the blogger lounge I’ve had a front row seat to all the excitement behind what they are doing.

Here’s the article from the Samsung site:

SXSW Cares Influences Efforts to Raise Support for Japan by Meghan Scibona, Published: March 12, 2011
Something extraordinary began yesterday at 1 p.m. in the Samsung Blogger Lounge. Leigh Durst of LivePath and Deb Ng of Blogworld Expo were friends online but met for the first time in the lounge. They started talking about how surreal it was to be having a good time at the conference while people were facing devastation in Japan. Within minutes, they created a #sxswcares hashtag to encourage the community to donate to the Red Cross.

Sitting in a room with the biggest influencers in the world, Durst and Ng realized they were in the perfect place to get something started. “If we can’t pull this off here of all places, then where?” said Ng.

They learned that Rob Woo of CauseVox had the same idea and had created #sxsw4japan. The three met right away, combined efforts and put a plan into action. They asked Hugh MacLeod from Gaping Void to create a logo, and they were off to the races.

“Doesn’t this represent the best of SXSW?” said Durst. “It’s crowd sourced and is rapid development for good.” The effort has been truly collaborative. People are spreading the word and donating money. Ng loves that it’s not just a re-tweet and that people are also digging into their pockets.

SXSW Cares established a formal partnership with the Red Cross. Within two hours they had raised $2,000—half of it from an anonymous donor. “Anyone can be an influencer overnight,” said Durst.

Influencers, indeed. To date, they are up to $7,200 in donations, and it’s only been one day. And to think, it was all conceived in the Samsung Blogger Lounge on Day One of the conference. What can we expect from Day Two? I challenge you, the SXSW community, to continue to come up with even more great ideas and embrace your inner influencer.

Please visit sxswcares.org for more information or to make a donation.

Want to know what else is going on at SXSWi? Check out theSamsung SXSWi Hub.

The views and opinions expressed herein, are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung USA, Samsung Electronics America INC or any of the parents/affiliates as well as any other individual employee thereof. A stipend was provided to me by Samsung to cover costs associated with this event.

Meghan Scibona is a writer, director, producer and content developer who has produced numerous short films, promos and short documentaries. She most recently added the feature film, “Blood Junkies,” to her producer/director credits. Meghan has spoken on panels about filmmaking at SXSW and is a partner in Small Media Extra Large, a creative content and digital video production company and interactive studio.

 

SXSW coverage: interactive panel “Asleep in the Classroom: A Wake Up Call from Tomorrow”

My first blog post from SXSWi. It was inspiring to hear all the ways that technology can help education, even if not enough is being done yet. It seems like technology companies have a huge opportunity to continue to invest in education and to donate resources. I hope they continue to see the upside.

Here’s the article from the Samsung site:

SXSWi 2011: Can Technology Bring Back the Wonder of Education?
by Meghan Scibona, Published: March 12, 2011

Samsung sponsored an engaging panel yesterday, “Asleep in the Classroom: A Wake Up Call from Tomorrow,” about the opportunity for technology and innovation to vastly improve the education system in America. In his panel introduction, Samsung CMO Ralph Santana talked about technology finally being used for potential solutions in education and how private corporations are stepping in to fill the gap when government cannot.

Molly Wood, the Executive Editor of CNET, moderated the panel of three experts, which included Jim Shelton, the U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, Scott Goldman, Vice President of the Grammy Foundation and Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

When asked about the biggest obstacle facing education, each offered a different problem. “The system is not broken,” said Shelton. “It’s working exactly as it was structured. That’s why it’s so hard to change. The problem is that the education system was created during the Industrial Revolution and hasn’t evolved in the time since.” Goldman said that teachers, while incredibly passionate, are overburdened. It’s about “finding the methods and means to support great teachers.” Childress contends that the big thing we can do is “put the learner at the center. Not everyone needs the same thing every day.”

Everyone agreed that education needs to be more in line with the rest of the students’ lives. The biggest complaint they have is that they are bored. How do we get students engaged in things they want to do that are tied to their education? Shelton called for customization of the students’ experience, saying that there were 20 companies that knew how to tailor an experience perfectly for him, which was much better than his child’s education.

Childress pointed out, “The world is inherently interesting. Can’t we engage them in ways that keep them interested?” One way The Gates Foundation is addressing this issue is by supporting the development of learning games to engage students and help them learn basic skills, like algebra. Tools like this must be developed to enable teachers to do great work and help eliminate the disparity between the states’ education standards. For instance, the requirements for a fourth grade student in Massachusetts are similar to the requirements for an eighth grade student in Mississippi. Tools created with great technology would bridge that gap, reaching students without differentiating by ZIP code.

Small enhancements to education can make a big difference. At the Grammy Foundation they might go into a school whose budget for a music program is $2,000. They will award a $5,000 grant and create an instant change in the program. The program can involve more students and buy more instruments and sheet music. Goldman said, “The bar to making a difference on a local level is not as high as you think.”

As Santana stated, “Fundamentally, technology can be an enabler of change.”

Visit the Samsung SXSWi Hub for more news and information.

The views and opinions expressed herein, are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung USA, Samsung Electronics America INC or any of the parents/affiliates as well as any other individual employee thereof. A stipend was provided to me by Samsung to cover costs associated with this event.

Meghan Scibona is a writer, director, producer and content developer who has produced numerous short films, promos and short documentaries. She most recently added the feature film, “Blood Junkies,” to her producer/director credits. Meghan has spoken on panels about filmmaking at SXSW and is a partner in Small Media Extra Large, a creative content and digital video production company and interactive studio.