directors lab

Sounds familiar, right? J.F. Lawton came to our 1988 Directors and Screenwriters Labs with his script for Three Thousand, which was released twenty-five years ago this spring as Pretty Woman.  Three Thousand was a much darker story than Pretty Woman; Vivian was addicted to crack, and the original script ends with Vivian returned to the street, emotionally broken and back on drugs after a week with Edward at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

After its Institute support in 1988, the script was purchased by Touchstone Pictures, a new division of Walt Disney Studios. Touchstone gave the project to writer/director Garry Marshall (who, among other things, had created Happy Days and Mork & Mindy), and asked him to temper the script’s bleak tone. So, Edward turning his limo around and climbing the fire escape to be with Vivian? A great ending, but not the one workshopped at the 1988 Labs!

Bonus fact: Touchstone’s very first film was Splash, the 1984 film starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.  Originally scheduled to premiere at the 1984 United States Film and Video Festival, Splash was withdrawn at the last moment, but the Festival’s catalog had already gone to print.  Like Three Thousand, the Festival had a title change of its own after Sundance Institute took over its management in 1985; in 1991, it officially became the Sundance Film Festival.

  • Merle: Taako klept out on a little bit of that poison stuff. Remember? You took the rest of the bottle!
  • Taako: Oh yeah yeah yeah! I've got some of the bottle here...
  • Merle: Would that help?
  • Director: ...Why would poison help?
  • Taako: Well no, it's just like if you could get any details out of it?
  • Magnus: Can you send it down to the boys in the lab?
  • Taako: Do you have a lab here? Do you have a fantasy lab?
  • Director: Uh, no, it's in development.
experiment 93094

Mark | 3967 words | robot!au | fluff
anon requested: robot!mark and you being his owner.

You spent four years working on Experiment 93094, but then the director of the robotics lab tells you to shut the project down.

Keep reading

How Meryl Streep Is Using Her Own Money to Combat Ageism and Sexism in Hollywood

Plenty of women in Hollywood express frustration over lack of representation in their field. Meryl Streep is actually doing something about it. 

“The lack of film roles for women over 40 was the topic of much discussion earlier this year when actor Russell Crowe brushed aside the notion that roles dry up for actresses of a certain age. He pinned the problem on women being unwilling to act their age on film and used Meryl Streep as a vaulted example for actresses everywhere. When asked about Crowe’s comments, Streep seemed on board, saying, “I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place that you are.”

But, apparently Streep acknowledges that more could be done for older women in Hollywood because the actress has used her own money to help fund a screenwriting lab for women writers over 40, to be run by New York Women in Film and Television and IRIS, a collective of women filmmakers. This support for her fellow women should come as no surprise given recent Streep events like that enthusiastic response to Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech or her role as women’s-voting-rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst in the upcoming film Suffragette.

So how will a Streep-funded screenwriting lab for women over 40 combat ageism and sexism in Hollywood? Well, the prevailing school of thought is that improvements for underrepresented groups on camera (women over 40 being just one of many such groups) will only truly change when Hollywood shifts away from the straight, white-male-dominated scene behind the camera. According to a recent study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, the percentage of women behind the camera is actually declining. Women only represent 7 percent of directors, 11 percent of the writers, and 18 percent of the editors on the biggest moneymaking films over the past 17 years.

This new Streep-funded Writers Lab aims to give that 11 percent writing number a healthy bump and the program has drafted a few established talents in mentorship roles including writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights), producer Caroline Kaplan (Boyhood), and writers Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde) and Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On).

Presumably, the Writers Lab participants won’t be restricted to writing female-focused scripts. But it is worth noting how a female perspective can not only potentially offer up more roles for women over 40, but also change the established rules for what a woman-over-40 role looks like on film. Streep may have agreed with Crowe that “it’s good to live within the place that you are,” but at 65 years old, she’s constantly pushing the boundaries of what that “place” is.

This year the Streep-funded Writers Lab will accept submissions May 1–June 1, with eight winning writers named August 1. That’s just in time for winners to celebrate with a screening of Ricki and the Flash which opens on August 7. Get your writing and shredding fingers ready.”

Read the full piece here

Never contribute to the pot luck but always grabbing a plate?

This happened approximately 20 years ago.

One summer while I was in college I volunteered for a small laboratory. The lab had 8-10 regular employees, 1 pathologist and 1 lab director. The pathologist was Jewish and the lab director was Muslim.

Near the end of the summer before I was leaving them to go back to school they threw a potluck lunch and put up a sign-up sheet for it.

The potluck came and everything was delicious. About 30 minutes into it the director walks in and eyes everything up. “Does this have pork in it?’ he asked pointing to the lasagna?

‘Yes’ was the reply.

'This?’ he asks pointing to greens.

'Oh yes, I cook those with bacon fat’

I suddenly realize that every dish included pork of some sort. green beans with ham, meatballs with pork, mac and cheese with bacon, etc.

The lab director slowly realizes this as well and walks out defeated.

Once he was out of ear shot the entire room starts laughing, and it was explained to me that every time they have a potluck that the director and pathologist NEVER brought anything, ALWAYS took a plate of food, and ALWAYS took it back to their office rather than eating with the group, which i think offended them the most. So they plotted together to only bring in dishes that included swine.

Soon after that the pathologist walked in to the same pork-laden options and left without any food as well. It was hard to keep a straight face now knowing what was happening.

Happy National Trivia Day!

Back in 1989 when the Sundance Film Festival was called the United States Film Festival, the very first Audience Award was given to Steven Soderbergh for what movie?

Answer: sex, lies, and videotape

The screenplay to the 1998 Sundance Film Festival film Smoke Signals was based on what collection of short stories by Sherman Alexie?

Answer:  The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

What filmmaker workshopped her film Mi Vida Loca at the 1992 Directors Lab, then screened the completed film at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival?

Answer: Allison Anders

How many people were on staff of the 1985 Sundance Film Festival?

Answer: 15

© 1989 Sandria Miller ;  © 1998 Trish Empey ;  © 1994 Sandria Miller ; © 1985 Sandria Miller for Sundance Institute


Christina Ricci came to Provo, Utah, in 1992 and 1995 for the Sundance Institute Directors Labs. She is pictured reading a script alongside her mother, Sarah, in 1992 and alongside filmmaker Amanda Donahue in 1995 at the Sundance Resort. Ricci has since appeared in six Sundance Film Festival features, including Black Snake Moan, The Laramie Project, and Buffalo 66.

© 1992 | Photo by Sandria Miller for Sundance Institute, © 1995 | Photo by Sandria Miller for Sundance Institute


Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, better known as Daniels, came to the Sundance Mountain Resort in 2014 to workshop their film, Swiss Army Man. The film later debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it won the award for US Directing: Dramatic. Tomorrow, July 1st, two years after leaving the Directors Lab, the film will be nationally released to a theatre near you! Click here to watch the trailer. 

Film still courtesy of Swiss Army Man.  Daniels at the Directors Lab gif © 2014 Sundance Institute, © 2014 Sundance Institute | Photos by Ryan Johnson. © 2016 Kim Raff/WireImage, © 2016 Astrid Stawiarz/WireImage.


Prejudices are often deep, obstinate beliefs. You’ve probably noticed this if you’ve ever tried to change someone’s political opinion at a dinner party. But David Fleischer, the director of the Leadership LAB of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, thinks he’s found a way to begin changing people’s prejudices with just a short conversation.

He and several collaborators struggled for years to get to this point. “We brainstormed every idea and tried every idea, overwhelmingly those ideas failed,” he says. And once he thought they had discovered a powerful way to fight prejudice, an enormous scientific fraud perpetrated by other researchers tumbled their progress back a year.

He and his colleagues started the effort in 2009, shortly after the Prop 8 constitutional amendment and struck down same-sex marriage in California. “The LGBT community and our allies were shocked and upset,” Fleischer says. “Out of that outrage and despair, people wanted to do something very constructive.” He and LGBT Center volunteers began talking to as many people as they could, trying to understand why they lost Prop 8.

Study Finds Deep Conversations Can Reduce Transgender Prejudice

Photo credit: Jeffrey Fountain/Courtesy of Los Angeles LGBT Center


Sundance alumni Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement want to bring vampires across the USA and you can help.  Check out the What We Do In The Shadows Kickstarter campaign to fund the self-distribution of the film’s American release.

What We Do In The Shadows premiered during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in the Park City at Midnight section and is Waititi and Clement’s second Festival film together.  Both attended the Festival in 2007 with Eagle vs. Shark.  Waititi workshopped Eagle vs. Shark during the 2005 Sundance Institute Directors Lab.

Help bring vampire comedy to a theatre near you
– the Kickstarter campaign ends on Thursday, February 12.  

Film stills by Kane Skennar

When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.

Meyer is one of the authors of a recent paper and commentary on children and exercise. He’s also director of the Human Performance Lab and director of research at the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Like others, Meyer notes that when it’s time to trim the budget, PE, art and music classes are often the first to go. While he’s certainly distressed by those cuts, he and his co-authors also seek to question the “current dogma that is currently focused on the quantitative rather than qualitative aspects of physical activity” programs for youth.

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of P.E.

Illustration credit: LA Johnson/NPR


Sephora staffers share their go-to beauty products for the big day.

WHO: Kristy Kuncaitis, Innovation Lab Director

LOVES: MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge in Rosewood

“On my wedding day, the last thing I want to worry about is retouching my lipstick! Thankfully, I know the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge line will last from saying our vows to cutting the cake —and beyond. It also has a great range of soft pinks and mauves that are ideal for the big day.”

WHO: Jackie Abramo, Digital Writer


“I wear this scent every day because it smells like home (a.k.a. the beaches of Kauai). It’s become even more meaningful since my fiancé proposed to me during a stroll along one of my favorite beaches on the island. Now when I wear it I think of that day, and I wouldn’t dream of wearing anything else when we say ‘I do’ in my seaside hometown.”

WHO: Emily Lee, Senior Program Manager

LOVES: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

“For an entire day of wearing a full face of makeup, I always look to the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray to make sure it all stays intact—even through rough weather and tender emotional conditions. It’s lightweight, not sticky, and refreshing.”

WHO: Rhoda Bagorio, Site and Content Experience Producer

LOVES: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

“This eyeliner is the best when it comes to precision, color, and staying power. A cat eye is my favorite liner look, and I’m relying on this product to give me that added bold kick of confidence for when it’s time to walk down the aisle.”

WHO: Leah Bank, Content Management Director

LOVES: NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika

“My everyday lip color is always sort of a neutral pink, but for my evening wedding coming up, I picked this bright and fun NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika for an extra-girly and romantic look. I also love that it’s a long-wearing formula, so that I can enjoy the whole night without being bothered with touch-ups.”




Documentary: DNA - Secret of Photo 51 (NOVA) [55:00]

The discovery of the “double helix” DNA structure by James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins - which won the Nobel Prize in 1962 - ranks as the single most formidable scientific discovery in modern history. Yet in retrospect, the events are bittersweet, for beneath lies buried a tragic irony: Watson, Crick and Wilkins might never have reached their conclusions (or, at least, reached the conclusions as early as they did) without a massive contribution from a crystallographer and molecular biologist named Rosalind Franklin - a contribution that went publicly uncredited and undocumented. Franklin made the fateful decision to share one of her pivotal X-ray photographs of an inner molecular structure to the deputy director of her lab, Wilkins - who then, without Franklin’s knowledge, casually revealed the image (known as ‘Photograph 51’) to Watson and Crick.

//Professor Solas seemed to be a big hit, so have him and his Lab Director Inky flirting between lectures :D.

In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.

-Excerpt from ‘Love and Tensor Algebra’ by Stanislaw Lem

Brain Regions of PTSD Patients Show Differences During Fear Responses

Regions of the brain function differently among people with post-traumatic stress disorder, causing them to generalize non-threatening events as if they were the original trauma, according to new research from Duke Medicine and the Durham VA Medical Center.

Using functional MRI, the researchers detected unusual activity in several regions of the brain when people with PTSD were shown images that were only vaguely similar to the trauma underlying the disorder. The findings, reported in the Dec. 15, 2015, issue of the journal Translational Psychiatry, suggest that exposure-based PTSD treatment strategies might be improved by focusing on tangential triggers to the initial event.

“We know that PTSD patients tend to generalize their fear in response to cues that merely resemble the feared object but are still distinct from it,” said Rajendra A. Morey, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke and director of the Neuroimaging Lab at the Durham VA Medical Center. “This generalization process leads to a proliferation of symptoms over time as patients generalize to a variety of new triggers. Our research maps this in the brain, identifying the regions of the brain involved with these behavioral changes.”

Morey and colleagues enrolled 67 military veterans who had been deployed to conflict zones in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, and who had been involved in traumatic events. Thirty-two were diagnosed with PTSD and 35 did not have the disorder.

All patients were showed a series of five facial images, depicting a range of emotions from neutral to frightened, while undergoing a functional MRI. The scans showed no dissimilarities between those with PTSD and those unaffected.

Outside the MRI, the participants were shown the images again and given a mild electrical shock when viewing the middle image – the face showing moderate fear.  

The patients then underwent another MRI scan as they viewed all five faces. People with PTSD showed heightened brain activity when they saw the most fearful face and associated it with the electric shock, even though they had actually experienced shocks when the middle, less fearful face appeared. Brain activity was heightened for the non-PTSD group when participants saw the correctly associated middle face.

“The PTSD patients remembered incorrectly and generalized their anxiety to the image showing the most fearful expression,” Morey said. “This phenomenon was captured in MRI scans, showing where the PTSD group had heightened activity.

“The amygdala, which is an important region in responding to threat, did not show a bias in activation to any particular face,” Morey said. “But there was a definite bias of heightened activity in response to the most frightened expression in brain regions such as the fusiform gyrus, insula, primary visual cortex, locus coeruleus and thalamus.”

Morey said the visual cortex was significant because it is not only doing visual processing, but also assessing threats. He said the locus coeruleus is responsible for triggering the release of adrenaline during stress or serious threat.

These functional brain differences provide a neurobiological model for fear generalization in which PTSD symptoms are triggered by things that merely resemble the source of original trauma.

“People with posttraumatic stress disorder grow anxious based on reminders of past trauma, and generalize that fear to a variety of triggers that resemble the initial trauma,” Morey said. “Current fear conditioning therapies are limited by repeated use of the same cue to trigger the initial trauma, but they might be enhanced by including cues that resemble, but are not identical to, cues in the original trauma.”