WORKING while BLIND - Documentary Series AND PRODUCTION ARM of blindDANCE
20 Episodes each year
OPENING SCENE with NARRATION:
How can 5 legally blind people (and a driver) living together,,,
(show yellow sign of Blind person crossing/cut to van driving w/LOGO"Working While Blind".
in THIS house
(show exterior of house)
on a lot with THIS film/recording studio
(show inside of studio/Cut to exterior)
help people who are blind get back to work?
(show a room of people with white canes on a movie set and a man with a guide dog)
This year a crew of people who are all legally blind have joined forces
(Slow Motion Spot light on each member of crew)
and TOGETHER are filming 10 commercials for nationally known organizations
(Show the team together hopping in the van/Van Moving/fast motion getting out with gear)
while launching 10 targeted mini-marketing campaigns
(open tight shot on the group to expand to red carpet event and a poster for "Working While Blind")
OPENING SEGMENT - future episodes showcase background story of an individual crew member in this section
"Hi I'm Ben Fox and this is Working While Blind. This show highlights all types of work that is possible for people with vision loss or blindness. We do this though the art of film making, but with an interesting twist... Appropriately, ALL members of our crew are legally blind. We showcase technology, and partnerships, that come together to work with those of us that are blind but seeing a beautiful new world.
Lets meet the crew!
"Hi, I'm Victor Mifsud, the Blind Bio-Hacker. I'm on a mission to supercharge my eyes, mind, body and my soul- by using ancient wisdom and modern science. I'm a DJ, an artist, a traveler, and a dreamer. By the way, I'm legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa.
My first film shows the story of the journey to heal more than my eyes, but also my mind, body and soul using a combination of ancient wisdom and modern science. I'm part citizen scientist and part bio-hacker. I will introduce you to brilliant thinkers who push the frontiers of our understanding of the brain and it’s connections to the body. Also I look forward to directing some commercials while being BLIND while WORKING!
"I'm a singer-songwriter and music producer based out of Nashville and also NYC. I combine classic influences and modern production technique to create songs with concrete lyrical themes and energy.
I was born with Stargardt's and although my eyesight is fading I am seeing new horizons through sound. I possess a blind optimism (Pun intended) toward life that sometimes gets me into trouble, but always leaves the glass half full. I use songs to shine a light on the good things in life, and believe in the power of music to combat the struggles we all face. On that NOTE, I look forward to bringing a rhythm to each project we do and will be adding music and overseeing the sound. "
"I'm Quinn Durrant I have worked in movie theaters for nearly a decade and have a passion for both films and leadership, which is interesting because I will be working as the apprentice office manager on the show. Although I have been legally blind my whole life, and I am looking forward to showing the world what I can do, with or without my eyes closed. Which will be an interesting task because its my job to manage the schedule and daily logistics for these guys, I look forward to the opportunity!"
And again, I'm Ben Fox, I've worked as a journalist, ran a small media and marketing company and founded an organization that supports people transitioning to blindness while raising awareness about the spectrum of blindness (AlmostBlind.org).
About 20 years ago, when I was 18, I had two milestones in life.
FIRST: I was able to show a short film in the first year of the Gen-Y theater at the Sundance film festival
and SECOND: I was told to prepare for progressive blindness as I underwent two eye surgeries for detached retinas (one in each eye). I wondered then what a future in film making could possibly look like. Now I'm 37 and legally blind with an additional diagnosis of Retinits Pigmintosa and a cataract too, but you know what? I am ready to get back to film making! White Canes, Camera, ACTION!"
"And Ben, Remember... Guide dogs are welcome too!"
"Oh Yes! Guide Dogs are welcome too!"
"AND If you are blind and would like to join our crew, stand by to learn how you could fill the wild card spot in our crew and join us in Baltimore.
Finally its time to introduce our head mentor Bari Azman, who we refer to as the President of the Board!"
"I'm Bari Azman, an expert launch and business growth specialist with startups. Although I am all in with the low vision and blindness communities, I got my start by supplying the global airline industry. I served as President of IDT Jets where I administered more than fifteen overseas manufacturing facilities while directing sourcing, creative, retail and business development.
Right now I serve as VP of Marketing and Wearable Technology for Low Vision Specialists of MD & VA, a multi-office practice that specializes in working with patients suffering from low vision. It was my honor to be part of the team that collaborated with Samsung in the development of IrisVision... Which if you don't know, is the most advanced medical device for low vision patients on the market today. I am worked tirelessly in the launch of the advanced eSight product throughout the Northeast,
It's my job to guide the launch of this show and to be the final go to for anyone who needs help. Mentors play a vital role in the process of this documentary series, both blind and sighted. They will step in and give coaching sessions to our team in each episode. We have an expert in each field required for each of our projects: cinematography, voice over, marketing, that advises on each."
Allright already, enough talking about the job, lets get to work.
Segment A - Prepare to FILM a COMMERCIAL FOR: American Foundation for the BLIND -
AFB President and CEO Kirk Adams and Marketing VP Adriana Montague visit WWB studio.
1 min - PREPARE the PITCH - Crew around a board table
= BEN FOX:
"Working While Blind is all about raising awareness of the strengths of people who are blind and visually impaired. It is fitting that our first commercial be for the American Foundation for the Blind and aired on national TV! This commercial needs to be EPIC because this is the 100 year anniversary of AFB."
"AFB has pioneered advocacy for the blind! Helen Keller was the original Ambassador for AFB for 40 years and she set a high standard for the future to follow after. They have served millions of American's over more than a century. We will be showcasing the fruit of that work in under 1 minute. That is lot of responsibility.
"Also, the audio backdrop of the commercial will be key AND you guys are gonna the song written just for this occasion."
2 mins - PRESENT to CLIENT - AFB clients join the crew in Board Room
= Kirk Adams:
"I'm Kirk Adams, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. We have had the honor of engaging both the blind and sighted communities in discussions of progress and working together for 100 years now. We would like this commercial to show the fruit of that work, by showing the work that people who are blind can do!"
"I'm Yoni Frager, I'm a film maker and have produced films such as Uncaged, GEAK USA and The Storm. As the Executive Producer/Mentor for the show I would like to thank you Kirk for being here today and for allowing us the opportunity to film a commercial for the American Foundation for the Blind as our official first project."
"We have a few ideas we think you will love..."
"Check out the music"
"Here is the creative direction"
1min - Internal team PROCESS and ASSIGNMENTS - Now in the LARGE ROOM LAB
"What resources do we need to complete this job? What are the tasks? I will be back with the other mentors in a few hours. right now is the time for each member of the team to focus on their strength and prepare a plan to present to their mentor for advice."
"We have assignments and resources all set for you, please check your email. If you have any questions direct them to me and I will find the answer."
"Okay everybody, lets each get to work and get a plan together."
2 mins - "Mentor UP" to begin individual tasks
Mentor Mix: Ben/Yoni, Quinn/Bari, Victor/TBD, Eddie/TBD
"I hope you have been looking forward to meeting the guest mentors for this project..."
"Yoni, here are the locations we have scouted, and videos of the people we are considering..."
"The setting for the commercial, and here is the plan for the actual filming..."
Each crew member partners with their mentor for planning and receives advice
mini segment: "Celebrity Blindness Awareness Lunch"- showing off blind technology at lunch to celebrities
4 mins- celebrity or government person interviewed at lunch at a restaurant that is reserved for the occasion
FEATURING - Celebrity:The Farrelly Brothers (There is Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You)
- Technology: Foresight Augmented Reality (smart city tech -Audio Description through smart phones)
"Bobby and Peter Farrelly, its been a while and its great to see you again! We are honored to have you as the very first Celebrity guests for the Celebrity Blindness Awareness Lunch where we love to show off the technology and tools that help people who are blind and visually impaired get to work and THRIVE at what they do."
"Bobby and Peter, Thank you for what you have done in your films to represent people who live with a disability. I have watched your movies and as someone who is legally blind but still able to see, it touched my heart to see someone who is working with vision loss with assistive technology in one of your movies, Me, Myself and Irene. Can you tell us why you have made this a priority in your films to cast people who are disabled?"
"In addition to being the Head Mentor for the show, I run the Low Vision Shop. It is my greatest joy to help people who are blind with the tools they need to do their work. And today I would like to introduce you to a man who is a partner in a company that makes the world accessible to the blind through audio description indoor or out of the local area served up to a smart phone through bluetooth beacons. Farrelly brothers, meet David Furukawa and his Guide Dog Samson from Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR)."
"I could tell you about what Foresight Augmented Reality does, or I can simply show you. Bari, if you could lead us outside and then I flip on the FAR system and guide us back inside and right back to this table with my eyes closed because these blue tooth beacons have been placed along the path to guide us through audio served up on the smartphone."
- the crew and Farrelly Brothers all go outside and quietly follow behind "Dave the Blind Guy" as he turns on his FAR VISION APP on his phone and guides us into the front door of the restaurant, "BING" from the phone "FRONT DOOR OF B.E.P. Restaurant" then past the host stand "BING" from the phone "Turn right to table".
"And now that we are at the table, I would be happy to have the FAR APP read the menu for us. We have laid out for easy navigation for people who are blind who usually must ask their server or dining companion to read it for them. Not anymore!
Dr. Vinny Calderon and DR. AZMAN
am here to tell you about the eye condition Retinitis Pigmintosa, now that Lunch is over, in under one minute. A person loses their peripheral vision first and usually retains a tunnel of vision into midlife before becoming perpetually blind. There is currently no cure but there is much hope on the horizon with CRISPR treatments.
Segment B - Filming/EDITING the Commercial, PRESENTING and RED CARPET screening party FOR: blindDANCE FILMfest
(AFB commercial to be featured on episode 2 Segment B)
1 Min - On the SET of the COMMERCIAL being filmed
The set is a coffee shop where a dramatic break up scene is taking place (almost comically). The lighting and crew operating BOOM mics are very prominent in the scene. Some of the crew members will have a white cane or other assistive device.
=Victor Mifsud - As he extends his hands to show a camera frame
"The idea is to show a filter over the screen in editing that will display this scene with different types of vision loss to simulate what the same scene looks like to different legally blind film makers that have usable vision left."
1 Min - IN the LAB, editing process, setting up of event location, showing marketing grind online
=Bari Azman -
"Guys, great job on set today. Now its time to really dig in and get all the footage edited. We present to the Mentor team and also the Farrelly Brothers Tomorrow for their feedback. This is a little different because blindDance FILMfest is being put on by our mentors so you will be judged by higher standards BUT you are sure to succeed! ALL the same we have a party to plan and market on top of it all! Lets get going!
=Eddie Echo - (filmed over the shoulder as he is working at his computer station featuring special software for the visually impaired)
"Something I have learned the more I vision I lose, the sound mixing and music make every video, commercial or film. Editing with vision loss is still possible with a few tools like this software program ZoomText, other people can use screen readers if they are totally blind."
=Ben Fox - (holding VIP printed invites that include braille, also pointing to a website on a screen then clicking to an EVENT page on FB)
"We have catering for 100 for a small event and Screening for the launch party. We have pretty cool guest list put together and I am looking forward to introducing some AMAZING people who are blind and TALENTED to some people in business who should see what we are up to in the world these days."
1 Min - PRESENT to CLIENT prePARTY - in a board room
MENTORS, I am grateful to be able to present this commercial to you, on schedule. It has been a work of love from all of us. And as you MENTORS are presenting the launch commercial of the blindDANCE FILMfest, that we will each have films in btw, we ask you to give us your honest opinions. We are especially grateful to have the Farrelly brothers who stayed over after lunch a bit to see the preview of this commercial.
Before I even see this commercial, I want to tell each of you... GREAT JOB! You have shown great work ethic and creativity, you have been resilient and resourceful and these are qualities that every successful film maker must have. On that note, lets see the commercial.
- Camera shows the reactions of the MENTORS as they watch the commercial, BUT camera does not the commercial. Also the sound is muffled as the voice over reaction of the MENTORS impressions of the commercial can be heard.
2 Mins - SCREENING PARTY, show mixing at the mini-event, do interviews with guests and film makers
"Welcome everyone tonight we gather for a screening of a commercial, AND we are also currently filming our first episode of our Documentary Series right now at this exact minute. This commercial screening party is part of it. The show is called "Working While Blind" and is about our crew of film makers who are blind and visually Impaired who are making commercials to raise awareness of what people who are blind can do."
"For our first officially sponsored, or paid project, we are currently filming a commercial commemorating 100 years of the American Foundation for the Blind, and we look forward to seeing you at a commercial screening party, like this one, for that when its completed. Today we are here to screen the pilot commercial we filmed to show AFB CEO Kirk Adams what we could do.
It just so happens that the pilot commercial we are showing tonight is for another amazing organizations focusing on serving those that are blind, this one, however was just born officially this year. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, we give to you the first commercial ever made for blindDANCE FILMfest the first annual Film Festival for the blind and visually impaired.
- The room watches as the commercial plays followed by an interview with the film makers
This has been a great adventure as we have been able to partner with various groups to make history in more than one way as we launched this commercial for the film festival, people who are visually impaired and blind will have one place to see so many great artists coming together now in the artform of film to tell stories. Now kids can grow up, who are blind or visually impaired and see themselves telling their story through film, regardless of how well their eyes work.
"For me, this is a dream. I had my heart set on being a film maker and had a short film in the Sundance film festival when I was 18. Then i took a break from film making due to worrying.. In the past, about progressive blindness. It took almost 20 years and a lot of vision loss for me to get back to film making, but today I can say: IF YOU are blind or visually impaired lets get film making... LETS GO.... WHITE CANES, camera, ACTION!
The 10 Commercials
1.AFB - FREE
5. EPIC WEALTH
6.The Business Enterprise Program
7. Low Vision International
8. Collier Companies
10. American Airlines
Marty Liqurie - Olympic Runner - businessman - TV Show Host
Bari Azman - Low Vision Shop
Kirk Adams - CEO American Foundation for the Blind
Sean Callagy - Unblinded CVO / America's #1 Attorney / Business Trainer
Charlie Collins - Low Vision International (VP of North America)