Dear JJ Abrams

Dear J.J. Abrams

A lot was at stake. Another Star Wars movie was in the works. Would it be iconic like the originals? Or embarrassing like the prequels? Like any good fan, we were worried.

Rather than watch another Star Wars travesty unfold, we decided to chime in. Storytellers ourselves, we figured we might be able to contribute some insight as to what made the original Star Wars stories so compelling.

So we made JJ a video. The message was simple: Make sure the new movie plays by the rules of the original trilogy, not the prequels. Alongside the video, we released an online petition to get our message directly to Disney studios.

The video came together over the course of several months. Because it was purely a passion project, a lot of the work happened after hours and on weekends. We vetted multiple visual styles and several ‘rulesets’ before settling on the ones that made it into the final video.

To celebrate the campaign, we had no choice but to throw a Star Wars-themed launch party, complete with characters from the original trilogy.

We gave i09.com an exclusive launch of the video and within 48 hours, it had nearly a quarter of a million views. By the end of the month, it would have over a million views. It garnered us press in Adweek, Mashable, NPR, LA Times, and Fast Company. Perhaps best of all, JJ called to personally thank us for the video.

As Star Wars fans, we're happy. Not only did JJ follow the letter of our rules, he followed the spirit. Episode VII looks and feels like a natural extension of the original trilogy. It’s set in the frontier, it’s grungy, old, mysterious, and dammit, there’s nothing cute about it.

Those with MS or CP or other illnesses causing spastic motion can easily see the text clearly from any place in the room, when it is presented in the silent reading format of level five. A multipath approach with voice is also possible by using level one.

This same approach holds true for helping all those suffering from macular degeneration and low vision.

Those patients recovering from brain trauma or stroke, those suffering from aphasia or apraxia, can immediately regain their ability to read with PR. Many patients suffering from brain trauma or the after affects of stroke are not suffering from short term memory problems, as often diagnosed, but rather from being overwhelmed by all the information on the page at one time. By reducing the amount of text presented to just one word at a time, most of these people can immediately begin to read again at a good clip. These patients will benefit by presentation of text and voice at levels one or two and sometimes at level six.

Office Secretaries, Legal Secretaries, Data Input Personnel, Writers and Editors can benefit greatly and instantly by using our professional In-Line Book and Copy Holder. All sideways turning of the head is eliminated when typing. Work space is instantly doubled. One can sit back and read and work for hours, never having to raise or lower ones head, typing notes as one reads - with the pages of the book held open automatically. This professional product is made in New England. Most people have never experienced how much reading comprehension and enjoyment increase when the pages of a book are automatically held open.

Any article, E-mail, book or other text on the internet can be immediately read with this program at any of the seven levels. Any printed book can be scanned and read with this program. Any text that the teacher or student has typed on a computer can be read with this program. This means that every child can immediately process print and read at grade level, improving their reading and developing transferrable skills. A few children will need or want to use PR on a continuous basis to process text each day. All the great classics of the world are already ready to read on this program.

The PR program can be done at school or at home, or at work. It is very flexible. Earphones help make this possible. Once the text is prepared, this text is easy to transfer electronically or on DVD.

At school; students can do the program:
• before school
• during school hours
• after school
• in the evenings

One or more carts of laptop computers can move from classroom to classroom for twenty minutes per stay. This way every kid in all elementary school classrooms can use a tailor made program every day. The carts of computers are used continuously all day long just for Proportional Reading. The kids stand up at the carts while they read for 10-15 minutes, then they sit at their desks for five minutes and write about what they have just read. Only one set of 18-30 laptops are necessary to serve all the kids in a school every day. All the kids in a classroom get on and off the computers at the same time.

These same carts can be used for the PR program before or after school, or in the evening.

Adults could sign up for time blocks in the evening and provide funds to pay the lease costs of the computers.

Alternatively, a few kids at a time could be pulled from classrooms and work on computers, in a quiet setting in the resource room or elsewhere.

Finally, some teachers are able to have one child at a time use the classroom computer for PR, while the rest of the students remain on a separate task. When the student at the computer is finished doing PR, he or she quietly taps the next child who takes his or her place at the computer.

Modern technology has made it possible to avoid travel. The PR trainer can be on one side of the country and his or her client can be on the other side of the country, or anywhere else, and they can both talk over the phone and see the same computer screen, which is on the client's computer, but controlled both by the student and trainer. The software to do this is included for free with the PR program.
This technology means that the PR trainer can conduct live, one-on-one evaluations and consultations remotely with students at schools anywhere in the country. It is also possible, but not necessary, for each party to simultaneously see each other.

The Proportional Reading program can be done on DVD or Computer. It can also be done on the older technology of VHS.

Proportional Reading has created a new form of publishing whereby books can be read with interactive voice and text on DVD and TV. Clarity on DVD is excellent, pause is instant, clarity during pause is perfect, and continuation is as instant as pushing the pause button again on the clicker.

Each approach, computer or DVD, has its place. Clearly a laptop or desktop computer is the preferred way to go because almost every feature can be adjusted to suit individual preference. Also, formatting of E-text is almost instantaneous, and there is no cost of DVD or VHS media. However, a laptop or desktop costs money, whereas a DVD loaned out and then returned to a central library is essentially free, as almost every home already has DVD playback means.

The DVD approach is best used for demo disks and books that are going to have a large circulation so that the cost of making the initial disk can be amortized over at least a short production run. Making one copy of a book on DVD is not economically sensible. Making 30 or more DVD copies makes a lot of sense. One-up production should be done on VHS, if a computer is not available.

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