Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Troy Davis

In my Psychology of Law class at Wellesley College, I was sad to learn just how fallible eyewitness accounts and appalled that they are often the only source of evidence used to convict people of crimes. As a class exercise, professor Linda Carli surprised us one day to test our own eye-witnessing skills.

In the middle of a lecture when she was talking about the death penalty, the door opened and a man walked in with a big ballooned baseball bat and began to hit our poor professor with it. She said a few things to him and he walked out. She then passed out a piece of paper that had questions about what had just happened.

Questions like:
"How tall was the suspect?"
"How much did he weigh?"
"What race was the suspect?"
"Did he have any facial hair or is there anything that stood out about the suspect that you remember?"
"Describe the weapon."
"How many times did he use the weapon?"
"What was the attack about?"

There were many more questions that I don't remember at the top of my head right now but the point of this exercise was to prove how fallible our memory and observation skills were. When the surveys were tallied up, his height ranged from 5'5" to 6'5" and he was 6'1". His weight ranged from 150 pounds to 300 pounds and he was 180 pounds. He was a light-skinned Italian but many said he was African American and some thought he was Indian, Latino, etc. Most people remembered the conversation they had but they couldn't remember the weapon he used even though he was waving it around for a good 3 minutes. Sad thing was that he was a campus police officer so he wasn't a completely unfamiliar face at our small liberal arts college (pop. 2600 at the time I was there).

After this class, I learned about the Innocence Project which is an organization that helps exonerate the wrongly accused through DNA testing. It hurt to think of all the innocent people who were executed before DNA testing came about.

However, many still are unable to get DNA testing and in cases where there is no physical evidence, no weapon, and the conviction comes purely through eyewitness accounts, the accused have a slim chance of overturning their sentence. From the Innocence Project:
Experts estimate that only 5-10% of all criminal cases involve biological evidence that could be subjected to DNA testing. In the other 90-95% of crimes, DNA testing is not an option – so the criminal justice system relies on other kinds of evidence, including forensic disciplines that may not be scientifically sound or properly conducted.
The most high-profile case that you should know about right now is the case against Troy Davis. Troy Davis was convicted with the murder of a Georgia police officer in 1991. He's been on death row for almost two decades but was granted 4 stays and is still awaiting execution. There was no physical evidence, no weapon. So how did he get convicted? 9 eyewitness testimonies pointed the finger at him. Interestingly, 7 of those 9 eyewitnesses have since recanted their testimonies, stating that they were forced, coerced, or threatened to saying that Troy was the murderer. 1 of the 2 eyewitnesses who have not recanted their testimonies is a suspect himself whose whereabouts the night of the murder is highly questionable.

Amnesty International is one of many orgs that has been pushing Troy's case. You can read more about it on their website if you want to get involved.

For the new Cause in 60 seconds series we are doing at Causecast, we launched the series with Troy Davis's case. I helped edit this piece so please take a look at it and comment below. There are many ways to get involved with his case as well as with abolishing the death penalty.

Here are a few links to help you.

Sign the Petition to re-open Troy's case at Amnesty's website.
Join the Abolitionist Action Committee.
Read the article and watch the vid on Troy here.
Shortened URL for your relinking purposes: causecast.org/troydavis

Watch it on Causecast's website with accompanying article.

This is the first of many C60 videos we will be doing. The second one is about Invisible Children. Stay Tuned!

NextAid's Tropical Beach Party

The NextAid Tropical Beach party was on Saturday, Juney 27,2009 12pm-9pm. I went around 3pm with a friend of mine. I recognized zero people. But then again, I barely recognize famous people so I guess that's not much of a comparison.

The party was laid back. The dj's were rocking the tent and people danced around. I spotted a woman bringing back some hot dogs so I know there was a stand somewhere. There was no booze allowed on the beach and most people brought their own food, snacks, a chair, towels, etc. I was so ill prepared!

Nevertheless, the music was bumpin', the people were dancin' and it was all for a good cause.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Youngest Candidate


On twitter, #TYC is the new acronym being tweeted everywhere. It took me a while to realize it's an acronym for The Youngest Candidate. It's the first of its kind, this film premiere tweet-up thing.

Jason Pollock, the director for The Youngest Candidate, used twitter to market and mobilize his 50,000 twitter followers to come watch his film or in the least, the live streaming of his reception and red carpet for the LA film festival premiere.

Could social media really be a way to promote a film? Would people watch the live stream?

I shot the footage above and found it on Causecast's site as a place holder of where the actual live streaming was viewed. As I was filming it, I could see messages of the people watching the live streaming pop up on the little camera screen. It was an unexpectedly intimate experience to know that people were watching what you were filming and reacting to it as it was happening.

We don't know the results yet for how many people tuned in to the live stream but one thing is for sure. If this works, this will forever change the landscape for film marketing.

Jason Pollock is also a Causecast leader. Tonight I had the opportunity to help with the live streaming of The Youngest Candidate, a film he worked on for 3.5 years. He's articulate, funny, intelligent, inspiring, and...young. It was awesome to see the "big guys" in politics and entertainment make way for this guy to shine. According to new Jason Pollock converts, it was his tenacity and perserverance that got him into their doors and into their hearts. That is one take-away message I got from filming Jason and watching his film. Where would people be without failing? If you're not prepared to fail, you're not prepared to succeed.

I have a younger brother who is in law school right now and an even younger brother who brings home trophies from his debate competitions. If they saw this film, I know it would jolt them into realizing their political pursuits. One of the greatest misconceptions these days is that the youth are not doing anything or that they are apathetic. I disagree with this notion because I see how passionate teens get about the issues that affect them. In terms of politics, what would it take to get this topic to be a lunchroom discussion? In my opinion, to make it cool.

Cool to know that you can make a difference, cool to know that you can run for political office at the age of 18, cool to know that you have most of your teens to prepare for your first election, cool to know that you can prove to the world that your voice matters.

I hope you can watch this film. Oh yeah, and I don't get paid to say these things. Just in case you were wondering.

The Youngest Candidate


The Youngest Candidate follows four electoral candidates on their campaign trails. There is Tiffany Tupper, an 18-year-old School Board Candidate from Pennsylvania. Raul De Jesus grew up in gangland and at 20 is a mayoral candidate in Hartford, Connecticut. Down the coast, Ytit Chauhan, a 19 year old that bounced around the country with his single mother, is running as a City Council Candidate in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Lastly, George Monger, raised in Memphis, Tennessee, campaigns as a City Council Candidate in his home town of 18 years. Not yet old enough to rent a car, the four candidates face social and racial barriers that coldly remind the audience how far our society has to come.

The premiere took place on June 25th at 7 p.m. at the historic Majestic Crest Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Here are some pictures I took of the event:

Graham Sibley, Justin Scot, Lawrence Bender, Jason Pollock, Gus Roxburgh, Shaun Murphy

Ron S. Calderon (CA state senator), Justin Scot

Jason Pollock, Katrina Norvell

Jason Pollock, Katrina Norvell

Jason Pollock, Katrina Norvell

Live Streaming Lawrence Bender, Jason Pollock

Lawrence Bender, Jason Pollock

Brandon wrote something up about the event as well. He's much more detailed in his descriptions and posted up some awesome numbers (people tuning in, etc.) so check it out here.

This just in:
Jason will be at Causecast headquarters on Tuesday, June 30 at 2pm PST for a live chat!

Other reviews and write ups:
The Youngest Candidate - Jason Pollock's Ode to Young Politicians
The Youngest Candidate: Four Youths That Voted For Themselves Before Most Of Us Voted At All

Watch The Youngest Candidate Trailer

The Youngest Candidate Mission Statement

Befriend Jason Pollock on Twitter

Befriend Causecast on Twitter

Watch the live streaming of the premier if you missed it

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Switching to Organic Cosmetics

Here is the video I just finished!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How to grow a basil plant

I'm a noob gardener but I wanted to show off my horticulture skillz in this pompous how-to video. Enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beauty update

Ever since I did my research on breast cancer for a PSA contest I was doing, I found out all this information on how 90% of breast cancer cases were from non-genetic reasons. EXTERNAL FACTORS. 90% of breast cancer cases could have been prevented? What are these reasons? Well, no one knows for sure but one thing is certain.

The crap cosmetics we put on our face and skin have been linked to various forms of cancer, breast cancer included. Why doesn't the FDA regulate the cosmetics industry? Probably because we do not ingest cosmetics. Does that mean they do not regulate drugs that are spread on the skin vs. ingesting it? I didn't think so.

What we put on our skin can kill us. Face it. The epidermis is the largest organ in our body and easily absorbs anything we put on it. In countries like Germany, the standards for the cosmetics industry is extremely strict. They're not allowed to put in parabens or any synthetic ingredients. If other countries are protecting their citizens from these harmful ingredients, what is keeping the U.S. from doing so? Until the U.S. changes and protects the mass from these toxic ingredients, we must fend for ourselves.

Thankfully, there are many websites to help with this. As I've been cleaning out my makeup stash and replacing it with natural and organic lines, I've been blessed to have encountered many gurus in this field and even more entrepreneurs who took it upon themselves to create products that are clean and safe and putting it online for people to buy.

If you're scared of what you're putting on your face or just want to know, visit Skin Deep's website at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ to see which products you might want to replace.

Today I found this site called "Future Natural" for shopping for products online. They're like the Sephora of the green makeup world. They even give free samples with orders. I'm placing an order tonight.

For organic beauty reviews and news, this blog called the Organic Beauty Experts is extensive. I only started perusing it so I'm not sure yet how deeply they go into products but for noobs like me, this is a good reference site.

Another information-laden page is called Organic Cosmetics. There is a lot of information here regarding USDA organics certification, what the FDA does and doesn't do, and how we should look at labels. Another website called Best in Beauty is also full of sexy information.

You'd be surprised but you can get most of these natural and organic lines at Target and Whole Foods.

Lately I've been washing my face with my breakfast (oatmeal, honey, avocado, sugar scrubs, milk). It's the best way to care for skin.

I will post a video up soon of me trying on some organic makeup. Until then, keep beautiful from the inside out!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer of Service

A message from our president:

I'm trying to think of things I can do that would serve another community. I know that I already do arts related things for human trafficking causes, donate my time to a church, etc. but those are things I have been doing that were easy to do since it's part of who I am and what I do. I want to try to branch out and do something that is challenging for me personally but may be rewarding for others.

I've done habitat for humanity back in Bolivia for one day but I hear that volunteering for Habitat here is a lot different - you camp out and work hard until the house is fully built. In Bolivia, I remember just passing the nuts and bolts to a "real" volunteer. I wouldn't mind doing that.

I also wouldn't mind helping out someone giving their home a green makeover. I've been thinking about how this could be a possibility for people, especially those with low incomes because being green doesn't always seem like it's cheaper. I found many websites though, where it outlines how you can go green and save a lot of money in the process, too. After reading through different ways to conserve energy, waste, water, start composting, recycling, starting an herbal garden, etc., I realize that this is the way people live in Korea, and I'm sure in other countries as well. In these regards I always ask myself why the U.S. is so backwards.

click here to see the video on Causecast.

New building and new learning

So we moved all the way across the street! Pretty cool and spacious place, with an open feel. The video department is not confined in our own cave anymore. We share our space with editorial in a more open space. The pro is that it's not hot and stuffy in this new space. The con is that it's less private and I can hear everyone's conversations, which is usually okay if I'm not trying to listen to something through my headphones. Memories of my time at Wellesley when I'm trying to study while others were chatting loudly by the printer comes to mind. Admittedly though, I've been a chatterer who got thrown evil looks at times, too.

I'm going to take pictures of the space and upload it on here tomorrow. I meant to do it today but I was working on the Cause in 60 seconds episode on the death penalty and Troy Davis all day today. In the morning, I got to help Brandon film an episode of "Hype to Habit" hosted by Sarah Backhouse. I got to work the teleprompter today. I'm learning so much at this internship~!

In researching for the Cause in 60 seconds, I learned how to grab streaming video online. I should apply this to my Raider Nation movie. I can insert some high quality footage into my film of the Raiders winning a superbowl back in the day. Way back in the day.

I'm also using Creative Commons a lot to get media that I could use, manipulate, cut, etc. without freaking out about getting sued. I want to donate some of my stuff to it as well. Artists unite!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where I work

Here is a short video of Causecast, where I am interning.

And these are some pictures of my oatmeal bar concoctions that sadly, will be gone since we have moved to the new building:

The "old" video cave, featuring Brandon and fellow intern Katie.

Starring the illustrious Harmony.

My next day to intern is Wed and I will be reporting to a whole new Causecast, just across the street.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rory Freedman

Today I got to interview one of Causecast's leaders and author of the Skinny Bitch series, Rory Freedman. When I first read Skinny Bitch, I was inspired to eat healthier and eat less meat. After meeting with Rory, I'm convinced I can actually take steps in eating healthier with more organic fruits and veggies and less meat. I found out that Rory is not only an author of a bestselling series of books, but she is also an animal rights activist. It's really inspiring to see what passions people identify themselves with aside from their claim to fame.

One of the cool things I found out about Rory is that she is into trapeze and she's pretty good at it, too. I'm pretty scared of heights so I told her I'd probably never do it. She is one who doesn't take excuses and told me that I should try it anyway. This was also her encouraging attitude when I told her I cannot give up meat because I'm Korean. When I told her I was doing a documentary on foodies and that many foodies think vegans cannot be foodies, she completely disagreed. In fact, she says she only knows vegan foodies! This is very encouraging, as I had wanted to incorporate "the other side" into the documentary. Personally, most of my vegan friends (and others who are on restrictive diets) only talk about food and it's because they have to think about what kinds of food they can or cannot eat and it's also important that it tastes good. I have a foodie friend who is organizing a vegan food marathon because vegans posted on his site to challenge his dislike for vegan food. This has been a long and heated debate within the foodie culture so I'm pretty stoked I might be able to interview some vegan foodies.

It's been a few days now since I've watched "Food Inc" and I've been shopping for organic fruits and vegetables and have cut back on mystery meat. I've also bought a small basil plant to start my own herb garden. More on that later!

Double Whammy!

Raider Nation

I have two films in this festival! I produced Go To Kenny (international superstar David Ngo wrote and directed it) and I wrote & directed Raider Nation.

VIGNETTE- A Los Angeles Film Festival

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17th | 8pmVIGNETTE is a bi-annual film festival featuring animation, documentary,

experimental and narrative shorts by Los Angeles-based independent

King King
6555 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BPS now online


Runtime: 4 min 13 sec.
Produced by: Jin Yoo-Kim
Written by: David Ngo, Mina T. Son, Jin Yoo-Kim
Directed by: David Ngo
Director of Photography: Jefferson Wu
Edited by: Jefferson Wu
Cast: Allan Axibal, Michael Kuya, Sonora Chase, Hyunah Kyong

Short synopsis: A classic fairytale comes to life when a quirky package goes missing at BPS. Live Action Narrative Comedy.

  • 4th Annual 72 Hour Shootout in 2007: Top 10 Finalist, Nominated for Most Original Film, Best Story.
  • 2007 Asian American International Film Festival (NYC): Official Selection.
  • 2007 Boulder Asian Film Festival: Official Selection.
  • Broadcasted on AZN TV.

This is a film that I produced in 2007 and is now living online. Thanks for watching and I'd love to hear what you think about it!

Bearing Dreams

Bearing Dreams

Runtime: 5 min.
Produced by: Visual Communications
Directed by: Jin Yoo-Kim
Director of Photography: Joe Tran
Edited by: Jin Yoo- Kim

Long synopsis:
"Bearing Dreams" sets out to uncover the world of superstition and dream interpretation in the Korean culture.

The Tae-Mong is a type of prophetic dreams Koreans have that determines the sex, personality, and destiny of their unborn child. The film explores the origin of Tae-Mong by interviewing the filmmaker's "Old Korea" relatives, who migrated from Korea in the early 80's and still hold on to the practices they've grown up with. As they recall dreams of their siblings and offsprings, the filmmaker's curiosity is triggered and she decides to figure out her own destiny as dictated by her mother's Tae-Mong for her.

Her Tae-Mong seems promising but do dreams really come true?
According to these dreamers, they do...even if it means buying the Tae-Mong from someone else.

Premiered at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2007 as part of the Armed with a Camera Fellowship.

I made this short documentary in 2006-2007 because I had an itch to tell a story about this interesting and unique dream interpretation that revolved around pregnant women. I overheard people talking about birth complications which was resolved by figuring out that the dream she had meant the baby was going to be okay. This led me on a journey to figure out what my Tae-Mong was, what it would foretell about my life, and why these dreams even existed in the Korean culture. I know that growing up identifying more with Korean Americans, not all of them retain traditional superstitions that their parents believe. Before Korean Americans forget about the Tae-Mong altogether, I wanted to put it on record.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today I got to face many forms of injustice from morning until night. In the morning, I went to Causecast to help film an interview with Aaron Cohen. He's an amazing guy with a lot of history and a lot of heart for saving the innocent children. He's a Causecast leader who support Abolish Slavery.

In the afternoon, I helped film a protest to free Aung San Suu Kyi held in front of the Kodak Theater.

The protest was organized by LA Organizers for Burma along with the LA Burmese community. Aung San Suu Kyi is currently being detained in Rangoon while facing trial on charges for violating the terms of her house arrest. The international community has widely condemned the trial as an attempt by Burma's ruling military junta to keep Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, out of upcoming elections.

Later tonight, I read some bad news of detained journalists I've been following. 2 American journalists have been sentenced to 12 years in labor camp in N. Korea. These reporters worked for current tv. Their names are Laura Ling and Euna Lee. According to this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_nkorea_journalists_held Gore had no comment. According to CNN's article, Gore is slated to go and try to free them after the trial ends: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/06/08/nkorea.journalists/index.html

This must be really hard on their friends and family as well as current tv but I would have liked to see them address the issue even if it's an acknowledgement on their website.

Friday, June 5, 2009

RW/FF: Rewind. Fast Forward.

It's been only day 2 of the internship and so far I love it!

I got to work a bit before 10am, my "call time" which was originally at 9:30am so I definitely appreciated the extra thirty minutes I was able to spend in traffic instead. Haha. Anyway, my morning ritual coming to my internship is looking for parking, settling into my station, and then going to get a bowl of oatmeal. Yes, that's right. I get to eat free oatmeal. I never had it this good. I mean, I used to hate oatmeal but I realized it was because I don't know how to make it. Not like this. I'm going to upload a pic of it here on Monday. There is a toppings bar next to the oatmeal. Today I had two freakin bowls of oatmeal. Yes, hunny they're that good. My first bowl consisted of oatmeal, ground flax seed, raisins, nuts, honey, bananas, and walnuts. My second bowl consisted of oatmeal, fresh blueberries which Harmonie spotted from across the room, flax seed, nuts, honey, and a dash of sugar free almond. Oh yeah, they also have a coffee and espresso bar!!!!!!!!!! I'm never giving up coffee. Not when it's available like this.

Working at Causecast reminds me a little of Wellesley. No, it's not all women. It's just cozy, high-tech, food is available all day (though oatmeal is only in the mornings but coffee is all I need anyway), it's casual, they're great people who care about things and are vocal about it, they have a climate of learning, and a strong bond between the causecasters. I do hope it's not like Wellesley when it gets high-stress though (that was just crazy).

But maybe it never really gets like that here because they have fun events like tonight's party to relieve some of the tension! So I'm pretty excited about going to my first Causecast event outside of the internship. It's a party at LAX, a super "hot" club in Hollywood. It used to be hot when I went there a few years ago (it took forever to get in) but things change so fast in the clubbing scene I have no idea how cool or hot it is now. I just know a ton of people are going to be there and it's a fundraiser for 826LA so I hope a lot of people show up but at the same time, I hate waiting in line so I hope it doesn't take too long to get in.

So today, I was in from 9:50am until 2pm and I basically worked with the layout of the C60 program, which is basically 60 seconds of Cause-related videos we're going to start working on a regular basis. With the layouts, I simply had to look for different combinations of shapes so that we could make a template and drop the videos in later. Then, most of the time consuming editing is done! Man, this is such a smart way to do things. I'm going to have to learn about these kinds of strategies so I can apply them to my documentaries. One of my least favorite things in editing is doing precisely that - sitting there and resizing things and moving things around so it's not boring. Yesterday I subtitled a viral marketing strategy video and I not only got to edit, but I learned a lot in the process! It was like taking a free class.

Anyway, I'm really happy about this internship. I like the structure of it, the encouraging of ideas, and the fact that everyone there is really also new too, since the company itself hasn't been around for that long. There is a sense that anything can be done because of the newness and as we move into our new building on Saturday, I'm sure this feeling would carry over.

A few other things I'm excited about:

Meeting Aaron Cohen, of abolish slavery coalition, and reading his new book.

Joining the Bar Method next week to get back into health.

Laker games!

Cause for Comedy on June 11, 2009

Talent 1 Media Film Festival on June 13, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Causecast Orientation day

Today was our orientation day for all the interns at Causecast. I left my house a little too early because I had no idea how much traffic was going to suck. I got to Causecast, located in Santa Monica, CA, at 9:30am, a full hour before the scheduled time. I ended up scoring free wifi and sat in my car and checked my email.

Once inside, we were greeted by friendly Causecasters and we went around to introduce ourselves. Before things got redundant, we split off into trios and rotated through 4 different departments. It was really nice the way they set up the orientation. I felt very comfortable with all the people by the end of the day (orientation was from 10:30am - almost 3pm) and knew my way around the office space, which is so important in not feeling awkward on the first day. I love their bathrooms because they are clean and they sport a candle, mouth wash, soap, and a sign on the paper towel dispenser that reads, "less is more!" I can tell people who work here care about the environment and also are into really good hygiene and a good smelling environment.

We got to do a lot of creative things today like make a video Cause-fessional talking about who we are and which cause we are passionate about. We also got to write a haiku of our perceptions of Causecast, then we created a mood board for what Causecast makes us feel, and then we went outside and took group and individual polaroids. The company mission and values are awesome! It basically reads that since all causes are inherently connected, we should focus on the big picture and work together in a collaborative way that doesn't waste people's resources and energies. The business model is also very proactive, progressive, and empowers the people to create change in their environments and in the causes they care about.

As a video intern, I'll be able to create original content, film live streaming, and work on projects in the upcoming weeks that deal with specific non profits. I'm really excited about starting my first real day! I should get some zz's now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What I did last night until 5am

So I stayed up really late last night because it's really the last night I am able to do that on a weeknight since I start my internship tomorrow. I was sorting through a lot of videos and decided to make a short video of my trip to the east coast last year. I was going to put all these pictures in there and make it really long but I got lazy halfway through and most people's attention span is not that long to watch something that's longer than 5 minutes if there is no plot. Actually 5 minutes is really long if there is no plot. Anyway, here it is:

Monday, June 1, 2009

A short video recap of our 507 semester

As a film student, what better way to recap a semester than through a short video? These don’t have any captions so you’ll just have to guess where we are and what we are doing. When I have more time, I *might* put captions into it but just take it as a visual story and we’re all good.

507 from jin yoo on Vimeo.

Switched over from Wordpress

http://saikoxpooh.wordpress.com is there you can find my old posts. I switched over here because I wasn't allowed to upload videos on wordpress without paying for it. That got on my nerves because I can upload videos and embed video content here for free. I heart blogspot!

Switched over from Wordpress

http://saikoxpooh.wordpress.com is where you can find my old posts. I switched over here because I wasn't allowed to upload videos on wordpress without paying for it. That got on my nerves because I can upload videos and embed video content here for free. I heart blogspot!