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Posts Tagged ‘bts

The best cold open on any screened show might belong to episode 7 of Wheel of Time.

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I appreciated those few minutes even more after watching this behind the scenes (BTS) video that revealed how they shot it. They used a robot to move the camera more rapidly than a human could. When combined with a slow-mo camera, this enabled the team to record sequences they otherwise would not normally get.

Just as impressive were the abilities of the stuntwoman who played the pregnant warrior fighting her enemies. The first half of this BTS video might be a calling card she can wield in future for more work.

I end the calendar year by reminding myself how important it is to record and showcase the processes behind a final product. This strategy is not just for an Amazon Prime show, it is for all learners. 

A “finished” product — an exam result, a project report, a final presentation — does not reveal the processes of learning. A product can be subpar, but that does not mean that the student did not learn anything worthwhile. We only know this if we have insights on the latter. 

Much of schooling and even higher education is still product-oriented (e.g., term papers) because this is more efficient. We try to be process-oriented by providing feedback after experiencing what learners struggle with. This is less efficient, but it can be more effective because there is diagnosis and remediation.

I am a fan of reflective pieces like behind-the-scenes (BTS) peeks at people and processes behind prominent products.

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This televised townhall featured how the Moderna SARS-CoV2 vaccine was borne over the weekend. I wonder how many people watched and listened long enough for a lead scientist to explain how it took at least a decade of work and preparation for that to happen.

I also wish that people would read about the people behind the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines [NYT] [Reuters] [StatNews]. 

There was the lead scientist, Katalin Kariko, whose ideas and findings provided the foundation for both vaccines. Kariko struggled for years on how to deliver a therapeutic mRNA into cells. She could not get funding because her ideas were untested and she was demoted. 

Kariko’s emigration to the USA was also the stuff of movies. She hid money in her daughter’s teddy bear to avoid the US$100 export limit enforced by her home country of Hungary.

The couple behind BioNTech are of Turkish descent. BioNTech’s Chief Executive is Ugur Sahin and is described as “humble and personable”. The husband and wife team are medical professionals and were responsible for building on Kariko’s proof of concept and then getting Pfizer to produce their vaccine.  

By contrast, the story of the Moderna vaccine is fraught with infighting and Wall Street bro culture, e.g., putting money-making potential ahead of everything else. During the vaccine development, Moderna did not publish its findings; BioNTech published about 150 articles.

I am glad that Singapore is partnering with BioNTech in establishing a regional HQ and manufacturing facility here. Good people matter.

Rising above, I am reminded why something that looks quick and/or effortless really is not. There was a lot of toil, pain, and learning from failure that led up to the glam shot.

Every now and then I share two videos that I just watched: One is a product of collaboration and the other provides insights on the processes behind that product.

Then I go on to say how those of us in schooling and education can learn from such videos. For example, evaluations of worth should not just be about products; they should be about processes as well.

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The video above featured the efforts of four producers of CNA Insider. Recently, the video series focused on the ordeals of our guest workers, rises in domestic violence, and NGO efforts during the pandemic lockdown.

The BTS video revealed the stories behind the storytellers. It was a reminder that the human narrative is the tie that binds.

When applied to schooling and education, we might ask ourselves what stories we craft. Are they more of the same? Or are they journeys of change, failure, and small joys? Which stories are worth telling? Which stories live on and inspire?

Today I focus on BTS. No, not that BTS. Behind-the-scenes, BTS.

I not only like to get insights on the processes behind the product, I also like to see the people responsible for both.

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Great Big Story is one of my favourite YouTube channels. My family and I watch at least one of their videos practically every day. The channel is informative and inspiring.

Before watching this special focus, I did not realise how many women made the videos behind-the-scenes. Now I see why they offer so much quality.


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