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New PBS Documentary Website Offers Unprecedented Look at Human Emotions and Provides Tools for Building Social Connections
Date:10/6/2009

SEATTLE, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- PBS, Vulcan Productions and the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit launched a new website today to support the upcoming This Emotional Life documentary, which premieres on PBS in early 2010. The documentary series is hosted by Daniel Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness, and weaves the latest scientific research with compelling personal stories through deeply personal interviews with ordinary people, such as returning veterans and new parents, as well as celebrities.

The website, http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife, combines video and text to provide authoritative, factual information based on interviews with leading scientists about the latest biological and social science in the field of human emotions. In addition, the site provides compelling personal narratives that reveal how we manage relationships, cope with challenges and ultimately strive for more fulfilling lives. Featuring partnerships with Meetup.com and leading organizations from across the country, the site facilitates the building of social support networks for people seeking to connect with peers - both online and offline.

"This Emotional Life is a journey through the stories of real people that explores what we know and don't know about emotions," said Richard Hutton, Senior Executive Producer, Vulcan Productions. "By launching the website now, we hope to start a nationwide conversation about our emotions and relationships that will build through the series premiere in January and beyond."

"This Emotional Life is about human connections and understanding how our social interactions are deeply wired in our brains," said Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, WGBH/NOVA Science Unit. "The series looks at the latest, cutting-edge biological and social science behind our human nature to help us better understand what drives our emotions and what can lead us to happiness."

The content-rich website focuses on topics highlighted in the series, such as the importance of early attachment, PTSD, stress, grief, autism, bullying, resilience and our pursuit of happiness. In addition to the information presented on the site, there are links to expert-reviewed resources that provide visitors with additional information.

"Many Americans are struggling with mental health issues, suffering from mental illnesses or simply falling short of finding emotional health," said A. Kathryn Power, M.Ed., Director of the Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "We need to encourage individuals to understand their emotional lives and if necessary seek effective, evidence-based solutions. This project will be a valuable resource for that information."

Designed and developed by digital communications firm Method, http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife includes the following sections, which will continue to be enhanced as the series launch date nears:

  • Topics: In-depth information with links to related information and resources on topics covered in the This Emotional Life series, including anger, attachment, depression, PTSD, meditation, creativity and resilience.
  • Perspectives: Collections of video and additional footage from the series that examines themes emerging from personal stories and from interviews with neuroscientists and social scientists about human behavior.
  • People & Blogs: Daily insights and analysis from This Emotional Life expert bloggers commenting on topics from the series and more. Profiles of experts, characters and celebrities appearing in the series.
  • TV Series: This Emotional Life trailer, description of the series and episodes, including personal interviews with celebrities such as Chevy Chase, Alanis Morisette, Richard Gere and Larry David.
  • Resource Finder: Using a zip code locator, users will have access to resources and providers in their area. This tool will include links to websites, support organizations, events - all vetted by the This Emotional Life team. Website visitors are encouraged to help the tool grow by submitting organizations and resources to be considered for inclusion in the database. In addition, users will provide their perspective with rating tools for each resource listed.

Vulcan Productions and the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit worked with leading scientists from across the country to develop the website's content, and will be featuring representatives from both the public and private sectors in ongoing blogging and webinar events on the site. Partners for the This Emotional Life project include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and Mayo Clinic.

This Emotional Life

This Emotional Life is a ground-breaking, ambitious, multi-platform project designed to discover and share the newest, most useful information on emotional well-being that will help people in their daily lives. A co-production of Vulcan Productions and the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit, This Emotional Life includes a 6-hour documentary series produced by Kunhardt McGee Productions that will be broadcast nationally on PBS in early 2010, a nationwide outreach campaign and toolkits in the areas of early childhood attachment and the reintegration of military service members into the community. Each episode weaves the latest scientific research with deeply personal interviews of ordinary people, as well as celebrities, such as Chevy Chase, Larry David, Alanis Morissette, the Dalai Lama, John Leguizamo and Richard Gere. http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife

Vulcan Productions is the independent film production company founded by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in 1997. Vulcan Productions devotes itself exclusively to producing independent films of unique vision and artistic quality. Through its collaborative partnerships with established and emerging filmmakers, Vulcan Productions explores creative opportunities that result in engaging and inspirational storytelling. www.vulcanproductions.com

WGBH/NOVA Science Unit WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS' prime-time lineup, along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle and children's programs and many public radio favorites. One of its premiere programs, NOVA, is a production of the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit. Now in its 36th year of broadcasting, NOVA is the most popular science series on American television and is seen in more than 100 countries. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. www.wgbh.org/ and pbs.org/nova

Kunhardt McGee Productions (formally Kunhardt Productions) was founded in 1987 by Peter W. Kunhardt, a veteran of ABC News and the winner of three national Emmy Awards. Dyllan McGee, Kunhardt's longtime colleague, became a partner in the company in 2008. The company specializes in multi-platform documentary programming crafted to bring cutting-edge scholarship to popular audiences. www.kunhardtmcgee.com

Method is a brand experience agency that helps organizations and businesses harness the competitive power of design. With deep expertise in research, strategy, design and technology, Method offers a rigorous, intelligent approach to solving complex brand problems in the physical and digital realms. www.method.com

Cause & Affect is an innovative agency operating at the nexus of media and social change, with the objective of creating meaningful public engagement on a wide variety of issues. Led by Meredith Blake, the architect of the social action campaign accompanying Al Gore's Academy documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Cause & Affect brings widespread attention to causes by partnering with influential individuals or organizations that possess considerable resources, visibility and credibility. www.causeaffect.com

Mission Measurement helps nonprofits, foundations, and corporations measure and improve their social impact through strategy and measurement consulting, training and data services. As the result of our work, organizations have been able to improve the effective delivery of their services, increase the visibility of their work, achieve financial sustainability and communicate results to key stakeholders. www.missionmeasurement.com

SOURCE Vulcan Productions


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SOURCE Vulcan Productions
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