ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION

THE SLOAN SEMINAR

The AFI Conservatory has hosted a number of leading scientists and professionals within the entertainment industry through the annual Sloan Seminar. At the seminar, a recent film or television show is screened, followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, science advisors, or scientists/engineers related to the film/tv show's topic. The Seminar gives AFI Fellows a chance to interact with leading scientists, engineers, and film community professionals. Additionally, the Sloan Seminar is an opportunity to inspire new science/technology ideas for the AFI Fellows to use in their own films. The parameters, guidelines and deadlines for the Sloan Awards are also discussed during the Sloan Seminar.

Previous Seminars:

2013

Guest:
Andy Serkis, actor, filmmaker, performance-capture expert

Topic: Performance capture, acting, new technology in filmmaking

Screening: Clips from THE LORD OF THE RINGS, KING KONG, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, and THE HOBBIT

2012

Guest:
Leonard Mlodinow, writer on MACGYVER and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION

Topic: Writing for film and TV, writing popular science, and games development

Screening: STAR TREK and MACGYVER Episodes

2010

Guest:
Vince Gilligan – Creator of BREAKING BAD

Topic: A discussion of the story and science of one of the most compelling shows on television with its creator, Vince Gilligan.

Screening: BREAKING BAD Episode

2009

Guest:
Randy Olson – former marine biologist and current filmmaker

Topic: The truth about global warming, using comedy to get hard science topics to the public, and the transition from scientist to filmmaker.

Screening: SIZZLE: A GLOBAL WARMING COMEDY

2008

Guests:
George Walczak – AFI Screenwriting faculty and NASA Solar System Ambassador
Joan Horvath – JPL rocket scientist, science consultant, and author of What Scientists Actually Do

Topic: Dramatizing science topics and a scientist's day-to-day life for the screen, using the film CONTACT as a reference.

Screening: CONTACT

2007

Guests:
Chris Paine – Writer/director of documentary WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?
Dr. Marilyn Raphael – Climatologist and professor at UCLA

Topic: Global warming and the future of sustainable energy.

Screening: WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?

2006

Guests:
Allen MacDonald – Writer/co-producer on CSI, and a previous AFI Sloan Award recipient.
Richard Catalani – Writer/co-producer/senior technical advisor (former crime scene investigator) on CSI.
Cheryl Heuton – Writer/executive producer/creator of NUMB3RS.
Nicolas Falacci – Writer/executive producer/creator of NUMB3RS.

Topic: Science in primetime dramatic television shows.

Screening: Episode of CSI

2005

Guest:
John Underkoffler – Futurist and science/technology advisor on MINORITY REPORT

Topic: Privacy and future technology

Screening: MINORITY REPORT

2004

Guest:
Erik Arbuthnot – Technical advisor on CROSSING JORDAN and LA County Coroner

Topic: Forensics and storytelling

Screening: Episode or CROSSING JORDAN

2003

Guests:
William Lange – Research Specialist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Topic: Furthering understanding or the deep-sea floor

Screening: Never-before-scene footage from Woods Hole deep-sea exploration

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