Reel Talent Productions takes on Health & Fitness Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama made it clear:

“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”

With a mission of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, a nationwide initiative to put children on a path to a healthy future. 

One of the 4 pillars of the campaign is in Increasing Physical Activity, because our young people now live in a world where it’s easy to be sedentary, and inconvenient to be active. In a report to President Obama, adolescents spend more than 7 hours/day watching television, DVDs, movies, or using a computer/cell phone/MP3 Player. 56% of boys and 74% of girls are not getting sufficient exercise.

That’s why I’m excited to announce that three Reel Talent Productions teens will spend 8 weeks on a summer filmmaking internship producing short documentary to examine what the situation is like within their community. How’d things get this way? And more importantly, what can we do together to reverse it?

The finished piece will be used to inspire, inform, and fuel discussions about these pertinent issues, adding a small (but mighty!) puzzle piece to the larger picture that is Let’s Move!

My co-leader Jon and I are in the midst of conducting interviews with applicants this week. With only 3 spots available, making the final decision will be tough. Results will be announced next week.

Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the kids’ journey here. Ask them questions, send them encouragement and suggest ideas for improvement! Let’s do this together.

Media Impact Spotlight – Ep5 – Van Jones

I had the opportunity to meet Van Jones recently. Best known for being an environmental advocate and bestselling author of The Green Collar Economy, President Barack Obama appointed him as the Special Advisor for Green Jobs back in 2009. Hear what he has to say about the most pertinent issue we need to tackle in 2011, and what the media’s role should be.

Thanks to Northwestern SEED for organizing the event and inviting Van Jones for their Fall Speaker series. It was incredibly inspiring and enjoyable.

Media Impact Spotlight is a web video series featuring professionals utilizing various forms of media for positive social change. Watch previous episodes and subscribe to the series here.

How to make GMOs

Vandana Shiva, noted environmentalist in 2007,...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure you’ve come across the words GMO or generically modified organism at some point, but what does it really mean? Is genetically modified food truly safe for consumption?

My dear friend Taylor McNulty’s been working on a documentary about genetically modified food in India and how it’s adversely affecting the farmers there. She had an amazing opportunity to work closely with a physicist and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, who created Navdanya, a movement to “protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially the native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade“.

To help us understand just how GMOs are made, Taylor asked me to create some simple animation to accompany Dr. Shiva’s explanation of the process. I agreed in a heartbeat. :) Check it out:

Reel Talent Productions – Summer ’10

My Cabrini Kids have officially completed their summer session with us! It was a gruelling 8 weeks, with 3.5 hour sessions packed with lotsa learning activities and they’ve made it through! We had a point system going throughout, with the kids earning frames for good attendance, participation and performance, and the top 2 scorers were rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to watch the Chicago Bears live at Soldier Field! Much thanks to Cabrini Connections for sponsoring the tix. Read more about our amazing experience here.

And to really end the session with a big bang, we went on a field trip to the WGN studios in Chicago! 3 hours of touring the facility, meeting many professionals in their various departments, plus some very inspiring words from their staff members our kids to work hard towards their goals! Now it’s not everyday you get to take a picture sitting at the actual news desk u’re used to seeing on your morning news! Thank you WGN for your hospitality and willingness to teach. It was fascinating to see the inner-workings of our local news station.

So remember i mentioned that we worked on creating 2 music videos this summer? They’re now officially online! Enjoy these pieces, entirely chosen, conceptualized, shot and edited by the teenage members of Reel Talent Productions!

Many thanks to my fellow club leaders Jane Wang and Drew Hall for all the help and guidance… you’ve played a huge part in helping to make this summer session such an awesome one. Thanks also to the staff of Cabrini Connections, especially Brad and El for rendering all the help you could give to help us out!

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