Students Make Film About Vaccines – Get Harrassment

August 12th, 2014
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It’s always nice to see young people with a passion for science, reality, skepticism and advocacy.   In Carlsbad, CA, a group of highschool students in a journalism class made a film about vaccines and vaccine denialism.  (It’s on the correct side of it)

Via NBC San Diego

More than a dozen current and former Carlsbad High School students have found themselves in the middle of the long-running vaccination debate after they produced the film Invisible Threat.

The film debuted online August 1, more than a year after it was completed.

Students tell NBC 7 that’s largely due to the backlash they’ve faced, even during the production stage.

Brad Streicher worked on the film his junior year. The current USC student and NBC 7 intern said the idea came from the San Diego Rotary Club.

People there were impressed by two previous films they’d worked on and wanted the high school broadcast journalism class to do one on the immune system and immunizations.

“We ended up telling Rotary we’ll do the film but only on our terms, which means we were going to approach the film from a journalistic standpoint,” said Streicher. “We wanted to make sure whatever story we were telling, it would be unbiased and we would attack it from both sides of the argument.”

The Rotary gave the students $60,000 for the project with that understanding, according to Streicher.

Months into the film’s production, students say they started to received e-mails and online comments harshly criticizing their work.

People called the project “pro-vaccine” and “propaganda.” At one point the teacher and director of the film, Douglas Green, proposed the students stop the project. The students refuse.

Here’s a video about the production and the students behind it:


Rarely do I get to report on a such a positive story. These kids really did a great job and produced a video that is professional and well thought out.

Needless to say, the anti-vaxers have come down against it, to various degrees of lunacy. First they question who is “really behind” it. I get that too – people demanding to know which drug companies pay me to blog on their behalf. (the answer is none) Others say that the production is just too good to be something created by students.

The most common claim is that it does not fairly portray both sides. Of course, it’s hard to portray two sides of a story as equal if one is just plain wrong and demonstrably so. One would not demand both sides be treated equally if the issue was Holocaust denial or whether or not the earth is, in fact, flat.

As far as who was paying for it: The fact of the matter is that modern desktop computers and easily available software is all it takes to make slick-looking graphics, video transitions and edits. High definition cameras are cheaper than ever and no doubt would be available from the schools facilities. So while it clearly took a lot of work, that does not mean it was expensive.

It’s great to see the reception has been so great that screening have been held across the country.

You can view the trailer here.  It costs five dollars to “rent” the film so that you can see the whole thing.  I’d recommend doing so, not only because it’s a good film but also because the five dollars will help support this great student project.   The only downside to it not being freely available is that it makes it harder to use it as a persuasion tool.

A quick aside:  Pharmaceutical companies make less than 3% of their money from vaccines.  Considering the critics think they are behind every pro-vaccine message, one has to question how much money they think is being spent chasing after that 3% of drug industry profits.  If nothing else, it’s a lot of work for a pretty small piece of the pie.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 8:09 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, Education, media, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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7 Responses to “Students Make Film About Vaccines – Get Harrassment”

  1. 1
    Anon Says:

    Not to mention that vaccines also cannibalise the market for the other drugs that would be needed to treat the diseases they prevent.


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  2. 2
    L.Long Says:

    I admit that I am supplied by BIG FARMA!!!
    I get sick and they have tested PROVEN medicines that get me well.

    I would love to put a curse of sickness on anti-vaxxers but I can’t do it for 2reasons…
    1…the anti-vaxxers would most likely spread the illness to those who would be harmed.
    And
    2…curses are magic and so they don’t work…maroon!!!


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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

    Anti-Vaxxers have been living with the benefits from vaccines for so long that they have no idea what the world was like without them. They’ve reaped the rewards of vaccines for so long they think they don’t need them. What they’re doing is expressing concern over a fear, based on uncertainties and gaps in their understanding, worse they’ve built an identity around this lack of understanding. Although vaccine refusers seem motivated to avoid personal risk, they are really acting from misinformation and a one-sided view of risk. Public-health officials have tried to transfer their considerable knowledge to those fearful of vaccination. But they are up against the Internet, which makes plentiful both good and bad information.


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  4. 4
    sony Says:

    We first acknowledge the efforts of the kids who created the report. The vaccine is one major product of the business, I guess the report just trigger something currently debatable.


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  5. 5
    Nope Not Tellin My Name Thanks Says:

    It’s just more pro-vax propiganda. Not unlike the shill pages that popup all over the net. Ha;f of the google results are pro-vax but we are making progress.

    If you came to this page looking for real info just google cdc whistelblower

    I wonder if this was vax funded, but I admit it might not be. Could be that the kids who made it just drank the coolaid and believe they are doing good. Half of them probably have autism from all the vaccines theyve been given anyway


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  6. 6
    DV82XL Says:

            Nope Not Tellin My Name Thanks said:

    It’s just more pro-vax propiganda.

    One day reality will present the bill for this antivax idiocy and when it does, I predict one will be hard pressed to find anyone willing to admit they were once among those that supported it. It’s going to be like those who thought the USSR was a workers paradise when I was young, that seemed to have developed selective memories now of what their opinions were then.


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  7. 7
    Anon Says:

            Nope Not Tellin My Name Thanks said:

    If you came to this page looking for real info just google cdc whistelblower

    Who turned out to be nothing of the sort.

            Nope Not Tellin My Name Thanks said:

    Half of them probably have autism from all the vaccines theyve been given anyway

    I think it’s a pity that vaccines don’t cause autism.


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