Discovery Will Air Documentary About Mandela’s Life.

Yesterday was a sad day for the world one of the most influential men of this century has passed away. Nelson Mandela was 95 when he passed away. The former president of South Africa is know as the figure head of the movement to end apartheid.

The Documentary “Making Mandela” will air first in the United Kingdom and then to other Discovery Communications affiliates around the world, and will air here on Sunday.

The hour long film will focus on Mandela’s life, starting with the the Sharpesville Massacre, leading to his fight against apartheid, to his imprisonment for 27 years and his election as president of South Africa.

As a teaser to the movie discovery posted footage of Nelson Mandela’s release on their YouTube channel.

The film will be narrated by actor David Harewood, who played Mandela, but will be aired without credits “as a mark of respect for Mandela.” says Discovery.

Weekend of a Champion

Formula One is known for its big money, high-tech, and of course fast cars. Jackie Stewart is a pretty big name in the Formula One racing community and was also friends with a name that is another well-known name in the move world, Roman Polanski. Their friendship fostered a film about Stewart over the weekend of the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix.



The film originally had a small release in Europe but recently was saved from being destroyed.  It was released at the Cannes Film festival in May and through a deal with Netflix was released in the US this week.

The film chronicles both Polanski and Stewart’s relationship while also  giving a glimpse into the life of a champion Formula One driver.  The film lacks the drama of newer documentaries but still holds up in a modern setting.

For racing and Polanski fans this is a must see.

Rebel Music

MTVU will premier the debut of a new documentary series known as “Rebel Music” this coming Monday and it will focus on the struggles of young artist in areas of conflict.

The First twu segments will be on Eygypt  at 9 and Afghanistan at 9:30.After that each of the other four , will be on Mali, India, Israel/Palestine, and Mexico,and will be broadcast weekly on MTVU’s channel and on their website

Unfortunately as of now, the site is unavailable, hopefully it will be available by Nov. 18. I feel that this could affect the popularity of the series because for a channel that is focused on college students I doubt many students pay for TV bundles that have MTVU. most students  know have basic cable or use the internet exclusively.

The series will be produced by Shepard Fairey, who is know for his activism, and artwork.

Artwork done for the Obama Campaign. Source:

Artwork done for the Obama Campaign. Source:

MTVU quoted Fairly as saying,

“Rebel Music mirrors the approach and philosophy I’ve embraced throughout my entire career – art as a catalyst for social change. MTV World has the ability to reach and give voices to young people around the world on a scale unlike a lot of other platforms, and it’s something to applaud,” said Shepard Fairey. “Rebel Music is reporting on very important content and ideas that remind people of the power of the combination of music, art, and activism. I’m excited to be working with the Rebel Music team on such a vital project for today’s generation.”

I’m very interested in seeing this on Monday, and also hope that the web site is up and running by then because that’s the only way I will see it.

“Hollow An Interactive Documentary “

I mentioned this film in the past and last night it was screened at WVU. Elaine McMillion ‘s Hollow is a film about West Virginia’s McDowell county.

The film goes into depth about the history, and the decline of this Southern county. This “Film” is unique because unlike most where the viewer is led by the hand on a narrative in this “Interactive ” Format the viewer can scroll down a time line and view over thirty interviews as you scroll. I guess film isn’t the right word for it it is more of a hybrid film and website.
The videos feature residents from all walks of life and show the multiple sides of McDowell county as well as some fun scenes.

McMillion not only is a WVU graduate but also was a major contributing factor in forming The WV Uncovered Coarse. She recently spoke about her forming of the class as well as on finding her on path.

McMillion also so went into depth about her making of Hollow while in school at Emmerson College.

For a taste of what I’m talking about here is a link it is recommended that you use Google Chrome.

Black Fish on CNN

This past week CNN aired the controversial documentary “Black Fish”. This film focuses on the Orca Whales held and captivity and the safety of trainers. The film was motivated by the 2010 death of a Sea World Trainer.  This has caused a major lash out at Sea World from activist groups. The film also has some questioning whether it is ethical to bring children to the park.

The film it cusses the ethics of keeping these animals in parks like sea world

Here we have the director explaining why she made her film in here own words.

But on the other side of the controversy is some feel that the parks are doing a service Here we have Jack Hanna explaining his point of view.

Hanna and Cowperthwaite also debated the film on CNN

One solution is the parks could possibly become animal sanctuaries for the  Whales.

My personal Belief on the whole thing is a mixture of uncertainty, and wonder. I  feel uncomfortable at zoos and other wildlife parks, because of the unnatural settings these animals are kept in, but I  agree with Hanna’s point that there is a lot to be learned from animals in captivity. I  feel that giving children the opportunity to experience these animals opens their minds to conservation and ecological efforts.

GoPro Social Media Pros

In the film community, GoPro is know for their resilient products , but in the social media circles they are known for their expert execution of twitter post, for advertising.

Two things that GoPro does to dominate social media advertising are the picture and video of the day posts and the Daily “Everything We Make” contest.

My favorite the Picture and video of the day is in my opinion the best possible way for GoPro to advertise their product; they simply post submissions from GoPro users and every day they post the “winner”. There doesn’t appear to be any prize for this other than recognition, but because of the GoPro camera’s versatility and indestructibility, they produce some of the most unique and entertaining videos and pictures I have ever seen.

These marketing strategies save money but also show users unique ways they can use the product.  The bold advertising strategy can be attributed to the bold inventor Nick Woodman.

In general the GoPro is a great product, I actually own the Hero 3 White edition myself and they only complaints I have are a low battery life, and the lack of an LCD screen. Though there is one offered it is a bit pricey to be bought separately of the camera itself.


This film completely changed my view on documentaries. Produced in 2010 it follows a platoon of army rangers in one of the most dangerous valleys of Afghanistan.

I enjoyed this film for two reasons 1) It was at the time in my field of interest, back when I was a political science major the politics of war was my favorite subject, and 2) because to date it represents American troops in combat in the truest and most realistic form I have ever seen on film. The film does not try to glorify war and it doesn’t make the soldiers out to be these macho invincible super men, really they show their immaturity, and their youth despite their circumstance.

Up until I saw this I had a vague idea of what combat was like from stories my grandma told about my grandfather, or from other family members, but  until this point I will admit I had this idea that it was still “fun.” I wanted to be one of those guys with the big guns and face paint, but I realized after this film and after reading Slaughter-House Five the toll that war takes and the fear and desperation of combat. The first 5 mins alone show the juxtaposition of young men happy and hopeful to the terror of war.

This film does not dance around the subject of death; in fact it is named after a solider that was killed during the beginning of filming.

They used  sparse narration and the occasional interview. This helps rip the viewer from his or her couch into a full blown combat zone.

If you haven’t seen this film, I would recommend it even if you are not into action , or war movies. It is and it isn’t an action movie, however it is a great representation on the risks our armed service men and women face will over seas.