Pitches for Video Project

1

A friend of mine, Anqi (Angel) Chen, is a freshman studying piano and music management at Berklee College of Music right now. I have known her since we were both little kids. And she was already playing piano for a while when we first met.

Why music? Why Boston? Those are the two central questions of the story. Interview questions will also involve aspects like the reasons she chose to keep practicing piano instead of having more time to play as a child. Choosing arts as one’s career can be really hard as artworks usually involve a lot of subjective opinions while scientific research can be very objective. So, why did Angel persists in doing music? How she is seeing music as part of her life? The answers to those questions can also be found by diving into her current daily life. Besides sit-down interviews, I will follow her to classes on weekdays and other activities she is doing on spare time. I also would like to interview some of Angel’s classmates to see how they think of her and her works so far.

Angel has won many awards in China along the way. So, I am also very curious about why she decided to step out of the comfort zone where she already established a foundation and came to the US for college.

2

I would like to follow a scientist (researcher) at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. My ideal focus is Dr. Susumu Tonegawa who has won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987. However, Dr. Tonegawa is the principal investigator of a lab and the director of RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, so he may be too busy to accept the interview offer. If it does not work out, the alternative plan is to visit the institution first to learn more about the people and laboratories there as there is not enough information online. From there, another person can be identified as the target.

The central question of the story is the person’s reasons for pursuing neuroscience research. Why he or she is such passionate about what he/she is doing? I will follow both the person’s daily laboratory work and activities outside of the scientific field in order to “know” the person which will lead to more well-informed and comprehensive answers to the questions.

Specifically for Dr. Tonegawa, I would like to know the reasons he chose to pursue his Ph. D at UCSD instead of Kyoto University where he studies as an undergraduate student. From there, interviews can also be extended to how Dr. Tonegawa sees the differences in Japan and the US in terms of scientific research.

3

The location will be either the Newton-Wellesley Urgent Care Center in Waltham or the EMT section of the Waltham Fire Department. I would like to spotlight one of the physicians (or EMTs) at either location. The focus will be the kind of life choices they are making on a daily basis. Since this kind of organizations operates every day with extensive hours comparing with other workplaces, I would like to show the life of people working there, 7 days a week, and how they see their jobs. Surrounding the central character, interviews will also be conducted with colleagues and patients to picture the person in a full-dimension. Especially as a physician, there will be numerous options to work in other sectors of the hospital, why did the person choose to stay at an urgent care center? On the other hand, it is also interesting to dig into the rationale a person decided to become an EMT as such job could be extremely stressful sometimes because of the serious responsibility of life.

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