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Wednesday
Dec052018

Cocktails, Volcanoes and Top Gun: A Note on Special Effects with AmorSui Clothing's Adult Science Fair 

There's been a lot happening offline in the Madlab Post universe. Expect a few big announcements coming soon as the final screening of 2018 gets underway, along with a crazy fun project that I've never done before.

In the meantime, let's discuss how I learned a neat little tidbit about the special effects in Top Gun at an adult science fair for a clothing line. The quick look back at this U.S. Naval aviation movie began with PhD chemist Beau Wangtrakuldee who created AmorSui -- a line of chemical, fire and stain resistant apparel -- after being burned in the laboratory.

 

Wangtrakuldee, who is currently taking pre-orders for the Marie Curie dress and Rosalind Franklin pants, hosted a Fall party called "Cocktails and Volcanoes" to celebrate the launch of her Chimie line at WeWork in Philadelphia. There she performed a series of fabric testings with acid and fire to highlight how the protective materials in her garments differ significantly from the quickly absorbing and corrosive nature of standard, everday apparel. These testings illustrated the common risks women scientists without protective clothing have of being injured on the job.

 

AmorSui CEO & Founder Beau Wangtrakuldee, Ph.D.The AmorSui founder mentioned that scientists usually don't wear lab coats because these garments don't fit well, often getting in the way of their tasks in the labratory; not to mention having a thinly constructed layer of unsafe fabric.
She also pointed out that although protective clothing is available, the current garments in today's marketplace are made to suit the male body shape; which makes it much easier (and safer) for men to perform their duties.

 

I also ran into a few familiar faces in Philly's performing arts scene including Christina May who was the emcee for the night. Yet as one could imagine, the room was brimming with scientists. Among them was a woman I met who is currently working on a medical project to improve lung function in premature babies. How cool! Just a few feet away from Wangtrakuldee's fabric testing table stood Craig Marlatt, who can be found on most other days flexing his science genius in making sure cosmetics meet safety regulations.

 

On this particular evening, Marlatt was doing science experiment demos using household products such as baking soda, highlighters, flood lamps and yeast. Among his demos were an erupting volcano and flourescein demonstration that had me thinking I was in an episode of CSI. Marlatt showed us how to extract liquids from highlighters and mix them with water for an illuminating effect.

 

He also explained why the mixture appears clear at first until placed under a black light. That's when Marlatt brought up the jet wash scene in Top Gun; and the glowing engine fuel floating in the water during the aerial dogfighting sequence with Goose (Anthony Edwards) and Maverick (Tom Cruise) became a point of reference for attendees as Marlatt showed us his homemade method to the madness behind it all.

 

Christina May got in on the action soon thereafter, adding a strip of the flourescein water mixture to her chin. The Na'vi characters in the Avatar came to mind almost immediately when I saw her having fun with the glowing water at the demonstration table. Following a brief discussion about tracking people, and a rocket launch experiment that had WeWork smelling funny for a few minutes, Wangtrakuldee came over and put the finishing touches on one of the most anticipated science experiments of the night -- a Volcano demonstration.

 

Christina May, Craig Marlatt and WeWork party goers watch as Beau Wangtrakuldee finishes a volcano science experiment in her AmorSui "Marie Curie" dress at the Adult Science Fair.May led the crowd in a game of finish-that-sentence with "My Volcano is Like...." which garnered a lot of participation and interesting responses. It was quite a party, in honor of Wangtrakuldee, who turned an accident into a business.

 

What I admire most about Beau Wangtrakuldee is that she noticed a problem in her industry and created a solution that can make the workplace safer for women in science.

 

For her AmorSui clothing to function as womens' first line of defense against accidental spills and related occurrences is a great invention that will come in handy for many people.

 

Gary Gutierrez, an Emmy nominated VFX Supervisor known for his work on Top Gun, once said "All movie-making is illusion-making. Special effects is part of it." Given all of the fashion world's many illusion-making garments on the market (Spanx, anyone?), it's nice to see companies like AmorSui add a versatile effect to our wardrobe styling options; and with some extra special benefits. I raise my glass to Wangtrakuldee and women like her who are working to make the world a better place to live, work and play.

 

What are some of the most memorable special effects YOU'VE noticed in a movie? Who are some women YOU know of doing cool things at work or in their community? How important is wearing protective gear in YOUR line of work?

 

Wednesday
Oct102018

Extraordinary Films with Mysterious Pubs and Funny Hungarian Interpreters among Winners Crowned at MANHATTAN SHORT

Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times, written and directed by Marcus Marcou, was crowned the Gold Medal when the 21st Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival announced this year's winners on Monday. Made in the United Kingdom, Marcou's film is about two men who meet at key turning points over the course of their lives.

The initial conflict gives way to compassion and eventual friendship. Chuchotage directed by Barnabás Tóth received the Silver Medal, with the Bronze Medal going to Baghead directed by Alberto Corredor Marina. "From over 350 venues worldwide, we're amazed that only 3 votes separated 2nd and 3rd place," notes MANHATTAN SHORT Founding Director Nicholas Mason.

Made in Hungary, Chuchotage is about two interpreters in the hungarian booth who hilariously ie for the attention of one listener during a professional conference in Prague. Made in England, Baghead tells the story of a man who is haunted by grief. He asks questions only the recently deceased can answer.

The dead get their say in the hidden chamber of a mysterious pub. You may not like what you hear.

The Gold Medal for Best Actor went to Felix Grenie for his breakout performance in Fauve directed by Jérémy Comte.

Made in Canada, Fauve is a Sundance award-winning film about two boys playing in an abandoned surface mine. They take turns outdoing each other until the stakes are suddenly raised and it's no longer a game.

Congratulations to all of the films and to 10 year-old Felix Grenie on his Best Actor Win for Fauve!

Thursday
Sep272018

Become an Instant Film Critic at MANHATTAN SHORT, Now Showing at a Venue Near You!

An extraordinary range of film genres will be on view this weekend -- all eligible for an Academy Award nomination.

Upon entry to the screening, attendees will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot that allows them vote for the Best Actor and Best Film.Which of these nine OSCAR qualifying short films is the best? You be the judge, as Filmgoers in Philadelphia unite with audiences in 300 cities spanning six continents to view and vote for intimate dramas, fast-paced animation, a World War II epic, a film shot entirely underwater and comedy when the 21st Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival screens at The Madlab Post studio.

Join us in Philly for this awesome show!

SHOWTIMES

*NOW PLAYING in PHILADELPHIA through OCTOBER 7*

  • Thursday, September 27 - 6:30PM
  • Friday, September 28 - 2:00PM (Afternoon Show) | 6:30PM (Evening Show)
  • Saturday, September 29 - 1:00PM
  • Sunday, September 30 - 11:00AM (Morning Show) | 4:00PM (Afternoon Show)
  • Thursday, October 4 - 6:30PM
  • Friday, October 5 - 2:00PM (Afternoon Show) | 6:30PM (Evening Show)
  • Saturday, October 6 - 1:00PM (Afternoon Show) | 6:30PM (Evening Show)
  • Sunday, October 7- 4:00PM (Afternoon Show)

Upon entry to the screening, attendees will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot that allows them vote for the Best Actor and Best Film. Votes will be sent to MANHATTAN SHORT HQ with the winner announced on Monday October 8, at 10AM EST.

Tell everyone you know! GRAB YOUR SEAT HERE