Brave New World: Make your own movie, tv, or radio show

Next week I'm off to New York for the International Freddie Awards.  If you don't know about the Freddie Awards; it is a celebration to honor excellence in medical and scientific film, documentaries, television, videos, Web sites, DVDs and CD-ROMs.  Now in its 32nd year, the International Health and Medical Media Awards, the Freddies, have become the equivalent of the Academy Award for Film or the Emmy for television.  At the awards ceremony next Friday, it will be my distinct honor to present one of the evening's highest honors; a founder's award that is named after famous heart surgeon and researcher, Dr. Michael E.  DeBakey. 

Why am I hanging out with this crowd?  I haven't shared with readers of my Blog that a substantial portion of my career has been dedicated to medical broadcasting.  For more than 20 years, I anchored medical programming for Lifetime Medical Television, ABC News, Medical News Network, Discovery and other outlets.  I also served as medical editor for the ABC and CBS television affiliates in Seattle, appearing nightly on the evening news.  In fact, my career in television news and entertainment programming started long before I became a physician.  I was actually anchoring the evening TV news (on weekends) before I was old enough to vote.  Trust me that would never be allowed today. 

Back in the day, I needed a multimillion dollar broadcasting studio to do my work, along with complex and costly recording and editing equipment, camera people, sound people, and more.  Today, any one of you could produce, host, and broadcast to the world from your desktop or laptop or iPod (that wireless will come in handy on the Zune).  My point is this.  There has never been more opportunity or more accessibility for everyone to be heard and seen.  Broadcasting has become commoditized.  While that makes it much harder to earn a living, it makes it much easier to break into the business.  And as the founders of YouTube and others have learned, there is gold in them there hills if you can find it. (By the way, have you checked out MSN Soapbox yet?) There is also an opportunity to change the world; to educate, inform, entertain, and enrich the lives of people.  Sometimes I think, "If only I had been born a few decades later".  The possibilities today seem infinite.

So please continue to write those Blogs, produce those podcasts, and post those videos.  And every time you do, thank your lucky stars you live in an era when the communications universe is at your fingertips. If you are looking for a list of people to thank, besides the usual names that come to mind, check out the Computer History Museum.  

Bill Crounse, MD     Healthcare Industry Director       Microsoft 

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