Chlorofilms!

Earlier this year, I heard about a plant science video contest called Chlorofilms. Supported by a grant from the American Society of Plant Biologists, (ASPB) they wanted to encourage people to produce informative and entertaining plant science videos and organize the best of them on one website. Their deadline was in early March, and I was busy getting some of my videos ready to be entered when they extended the deadline to April 15th. This was good, because up until they announced the extension, there were very few videos entered in the contest. As a result, over 60 videos were entered for their first contest!

This morning, I received a press release from Chlorofilms – They have chosen their winners and I’m counted among them!

Here is the press release:

ChloroFilms announces video contest winners

15 May 2009

Chlorofilms announced today the winners of its competition for new plant biology videos on YouTube. Over $8,000 in cash prizes were awarded in this first competition, which promotes the creation of fresh, attention-getting and informative videos about plant life.  Grand prize winner (with $1,000 cash prize) is Ela Lamblin of Vashon, WA, for her entry entitled “Fertile Eyes”. The video, a collaboration with Anna Edlund, combines music, dance, sensual imagery and puns to tell the story of pollination and fertilization in plants in an unforgetable way.   First prizes ($500 cash awards) go to Daniel von Wangenheim of Cologne, Germany for his entry “fantastic vesicle traffic”; Kris Holmes of Rochester, NY for his entry “La Bloomba”, Burkhard Schulz of Purdue University of his production ” PSI – Are my soybeans wearing different genes?” and Mike Wilder of Portland, OR, for his video series “The Carnivorous Syndrome in 3D”.  In addition 15 Second Prizes ($250) and 16 Honorable Mentions ($100) were awarded.

ChloroFilms is a nonprofit collaborative project started by Dr. Daniel Cosgrove at Penn State University with initial funding by the Education Foundation of the American Society of Plant Biologists with additional support from the Botanical Society of America and the Canadian Botanical Association. With the help of volunteers at colleges and unversities around the globe, ChloroFilms is working to combine video and internet and social networking technologies to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of plant life and to make the best plant biology videos easy to find from its website at ChloroFilms.org.

No, I didn’t get 1st place, but I got something just as good – two second places for both of my entries! (Series 1, 2, 3.) I’m rich! Oh, I’ll just squander it on plants, seeds, and garden tools anyway…

I guess this means with the award I won for my graduate program’s recruiting video last fall, I’m a three-time award winning producer. :) I like the sound of that.

I would of course like to thank my camera dudes and editors Dick Geier and Clark Thompson, my adviser Shawn Kaeppler, and the stars of the Fields of Study series: Bill Tracy, Molly Jahn, Mike Casler, and Ken Vogel. Not to mention all the other folks who helped out, listed in the credits.

Anyway, enough about my videos, let’s take a look at the winners.

Here is the grand prize winner, with a creative and almost Green Porno-like artistic style. Don’t worry, that link is safe to click through at work and with kids around. (Besides, if Nature is offensive to you the problem is with you.) Feast your eyes on Fertile Eyes.

And here are the first prize winners.

Fantastic Vesicle Traffic:

LA BLOOMBA:

Are my Soybeans Wearing Different Genes?

(And yes, this is exactly what it is like working in a plant science lab, complete with flashing dark lights.)

And the first place for the series category, The Carnivorous Syndrome in 3D, Part One:

Part Two:

And Part Three:

Congratulations to all the winners!

It sounds like Chlorofilms may be hosting a second contest this fall, if that is the case I will be sure to let everyone know. I sure hope so, because one of the videos I’m working on this spring will be quite stunning and I’d like to see how far it goes.

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He currently works as a public research geneticist in Madison, WI. His favorite produce might just be squash.

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