Tuesday, February 25, 1997

Network Cajones

Editor's NOTE: This is a moldie oldie that I pulled from a text dump archive. None of the links will work anymore (or 99% won't) - but the names and companies have NOT changed.

Ok, so if you were on another planet on Sunday night, you may have missed the powerful movie "Schindler's List." Now, I've seen the movie in the theater, but since they weren't going to show "Third Rock from the Sun", I figured "hey, might as well watch the movie again."

WOW. I had forgotten how poignant and moving that film is. I was completely wrapped up in the drama, tragedy, shock, horror, and jubilation that is so skillfully intertwined that I didn't even notice that there were no commercials!

There were also some potentially "offensive" (read: too real) scenes that were NOT "edited for television." I had to check that I was, in fact, watching network television, and not the cable movie station. At about the same time I realized this, about half way through the movie, a tasteful screen appeared that said: Schindler's List Intermission, had a countdown clock set for 1:45, and a very small "brought to you by Ford" logo at the bottom. That's it. At the end of the 1:45, the movie continued without interruption until the end.

HOLY SMOKES, BATMAN! I must say that I was completely blown away by 1) the network's GUTS to show the fully uncut version of the film, 2) Ford Motor Corporation's GUTS at sponsoring a true movie event with only 1:45 and a single, tasteful logo at the "intermission", and 3) Amblin entertainment's (read: Steven Spielberg's) GUTS at putting the whole thing together.

Again, you're probably asking yourself - "how the hell does that relate to computers..." - here's how:

  • Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (Spielberg-created foundation)uses FileMaker to document the 50,000 stories of Holocaust survivors;

  • NBC's Schindler's List Site contains interviews with actual survivors, an interview with Steven Spielberg, and links to other sites

    Reader Exercise #1: send a letter (or email) to NBC and Ford congratulating them for having the cajones for putting on such a fine show.

    Folks - the point here is to "think outside the box." Just because something's never been done before (at least in recent memory), doesn't mean it can't be done, it just means that no one's tried hard enough yet; this includes computing/web/filemaker/scripting stuff.

    I get charged up when people tell me "...that can't be done in FileMaker..." - it inspires me to push the outside envelope a bit further, often forcing me to look at the problem (or solution) in an entirely different way. I've found that there IS a solution, and it CAN be done (although "should" is another issue) one way or the other.

    Reader Exercise #2: think "outside the box" - and come up with an innovative, cool, useful database or site that "flies in the face of convention." Let us know what you come up with.

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