What a naive schmuck Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) was. The "SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL" has a informative yet cool show called, "MY MILLION DOLLAR INVENTION." Overwhelmingly, the featured geniuses profit from their creation. Such was not the case for Goodyear, a self-taught, chemist and manufacturing engineer.
The Charles Goodyear piece takes us back to the late 1830's when rubber products were first introduced. Unfortunately, these consumer items couldn't handle extreme temperatures, (losing its elasticity and/or melting in hot weather or becoming brittle in cold temperatures).
The use of rubber lost its momentum. Behind the scenes, Goodyear remained steadfast and dedicated his life to perfecting the process that would make rubber a valued commodity. He was so gung-ho about his million-dollar vision that he risked all his money on raw rubber and chemicals...and lost. He even found economic backers and pissed through their money too. His blind devotion cost him his family and endangered his health.
Through it all, Goodyear succeeded by heating the raw rubber. He called his process, Vulcanization, (after the Roman fire God, Vulcan).
|VULCAN IS FREQUENTLY DEPICTED WITH A HAMMER AS A METAL WORKER AT A FORGE. HIS GREEK COUNTERPART WAS, HEPHAESTUS.|
The reason why Goodyear was a schmuck was...while struggling to find the right formula, he publicized his secret process. Others capitalized on his work by beating him to the patent office in 1844. Due to poor finances he died penniless. Four decades later, (1898) The Goodyear Tire and Rubber took their name as a tribute him.
|I'M SURE CHARLES GOODYEAR DOESN'T GET MUCH SOLACE FROM HIS NAME BEING AN ICONIC OF SUCCESS.|
The bigger picture is, where do million-dollar ideas come from? A great example would be, (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), the creators of the cartoon series, "SOUTH PARK."
One of my favorite episodes is called, "FREE HAT." The boys start a movement to end movie studios from editing and re-releasing classic films that are more family-friendly and politically correct. To attract more folks to their cause, the boys include on their advertising poster, "FREE HAT." They do this thinking that freebies would attract more people. They succeed in filling the auditorium but the crowd mistakenly think it's a rally to free convicted murderer, Hat McCullough.
|THE PREMISE IS SO FUNNY THAT WHENEVER I SEE PROTESTERS, I WANT TO JOIN IN AND SHOUT OUT, "FREE HAT, FREE HAT, FREE HAT!"|
I appreciate Parker and Stone's million-dollar idea because they started out as modest film students at the University of Colorado Then unlike Charles Goodyear, they used their connections with a Fox Network executive, (and friend) to get them started in Hollywood...or at least Burbank.
Coincidentally, my son Andrew now has a chance to make his own Hollywood connections. Who knows maybe he can parlay one of his ideas into a million-dollar creation. Although he's not a film student, earlier this year, he entered a five-minute film called, "OKAY, CUPID" to the Campus Movie Festival, (CMF).
This film fest is an annual, national event. Now in its nineteenth year, CMF features collegiate movie-makers. First, universities encourage students to make submissions. Like a contest, a select few are chosen to participate in a five-day film festival in Hollywood. At the end of the rainbow, valuable cash prizes are awarded.
The final step is, winners from colleges from all over the country converge on Los Angeles. The days are filled with film workshops and seminars that serve to hone different aspects of their cinematic craft. Plus, the individuals get to network with show biz insiders as well as their fellow contestants. One day is dedicated to screening everyone's work, (followed by questions and answers). The event ends with a red carpet awards ceremony.
Originally, Andrew's goal wasn't to make big bucks, he was glad to just participate. In the preliminaries at his school, THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (TCNJ), he was pleasantly surprised to be in the top sixteen. That honor earned him the opportunity to have his work shown to a full Kendall Hall auditorium.
Click on this link to see Andrew's CMF submission, "OKAY, CUPID."
Andrew basked in the glory of its reception and the recognition he received from strangers. But he was more stoked to later find out that he qualified as one of the four TCNJ finalists who were eligible to attend the Campus Movie Festival, in Hollywood.
|ANDREW'S CO-STAR WAS MATT H. (above) AS CUPID. HE WAS JOINED IN HOLLYWOOD WITH HEINER F. HIS PHOTOGRAPHER AND ANOTHER ACTOR ANTHONY R.|
The excitement of this adventure built-up for weeks until all the arrangements were made and the TCNJ trio were finally, in the air.
|LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! WELL, NOT EXACTLY, FIRST THERE'S THE ANTI-CLIMATIC FIVE-HOUR FLIGHT COMPLETE WITH A $4.95 PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH...DAMN, DIDN'T VIRGIN AMERICAN AIRLINES KNOW MY JET-SETTING BOY WAS HEADING TO HOLLYWOOD?|
Luckily for Andrew and his crew, my friends EVELPETEY and MRS-PETEY put them up at their palatial estate in beautiful downtown Burbank, (unlike the airline, the Petey's treated them royally).
While on their own, they visited the Universal City Walk.
|NO PLACE EPITOMIZES COMMERCIALISM MORE THAN L.A. AND NOTHING WITHIN L.A. TYPIFIES THAT NOTION MORE THAN THE UNIVERSAL CITY WALK.|
The reality was, Andrew and his team came for business...SHOW BUSINESS! So after some basic tourist destinations, they were anxious to get started.
|MR. DeMILLE, THEY ARE READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UPS!|
The boys attended different workshops to sharpen their skills, (editing, lighting, sound etc). During a down-time photo-op, they clowned around.
|THE PERFECT KODAK MOMENT, A CAMPUS MOVIE FEST BACKDROP AND PROPS.|
While away from the fest, EVELPETEY was kind enough to show them the sights. Like Hollywood and Vine ,the Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theater.
|TO EXEMPLIFY HIS ECSTASY AND AS A HOMAGE TO ME, ANDREW SHOT JIMMY "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" STEWART'S HAND AND FOOT PRINTS.|
For Andrew, his big moment was seeing, "OKAY, CUPID" on the silver screen. He then adeptly fielded questions from the audience.
On the last day, the award ceremony was a red carpet affair.
|THE AWARD CEREMONY WAS INCREDIBLE AND EXCITING. ALTHOUGH ANDREW WASN'T ONE OF THE WINNERS, THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE WAS A COLOSSAL PERSONAL VICTORY.|
To add Hollywood legitimacy to the award ceremony, TV personality J. B. Smoove (a favorite of mine), added comic relief to the proceedings.
The time on the west coast went by like a flash for Andrew. He learned a lot, was encouraged to continue making videos and a lusts to improve his product.
|BACK ON THE GROUND IN NEW JERSEY, BEFORE NAVIGATING OUT OF NEWARK AIRPORT, THE REALITY THAT THE CMF PARTY WAS OVER, SET IN. AFTER A QUICK BREATHER, IT'LL BE BACK TO CHASING DOWN A NEW MILLION DOLLAR DREAM.|
Andrew regretted not having more sightseeing time. He was also disappointed, because unlike the full auditorium at TCNJ's Kendall Hall, his Hollywood screening of, "OKAY CUPID" drew a sparse crowd.
I said, "You'll have plenty of chances to see more of California. And if you want to assure that future auditoriums will be full for your screenings, you should come up with a next gen version, of a free hat promotion."
Speaking of million dollar inventions, Andrew's hosts EVELPETEY and MRS-PETEY have come up with their own special creation. So with their bundle of joy in mind, I wish my great friends all the love and happiness imaginable.
|WE ALL THANK YOU PETEY'S FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY AND LOVE YOU!|
For the Petey's happy occasion, only they can read between the lines of the nickname I have chosen for their cherished prize...NEXT GEN !