Waging War Against Corrosion
“Nature has a way of letting us know that we are not the most powerful force on earth,” are the opening words uttered by LeVar Burton in the video Corrosion Comprehension: Combating the Pervasive Menace. It is one of many corrosion project videos available to the public at CorrDefense.org, a site promoting the Department of Defense’s (DoD) declaration of war against corrosion.
The featured videos are part of more than two and a half dozen projects – completed and currently in production – for which Stacey Cook partnered up with Bruno White Entertainment and functioned as the Producer, Production Manager, and Post-Production Supervisor since September 2006. Some other corrosion projects in this line that Stacey had a hand in producing include educational videos for schools, training videos for the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), on-line DoD tutorials on specifications and qualifications, podcasts, conference videos, and college courses.
Throughout, all corrosion project videos aim to teach about:
- The mechanics and sciences behind corrosion
- The different types of corrosion
- The many kinds of material and structural degradation corrosion causes
- How characteristics and properties of certain materials affect how fast they corrode
- Ways of detecting, predicting, and managing corrosion and methods of prevention”One of the biggest challenges,” Stacey explains, “was trying to portray a very dry subject (Corrosion) in an informative but entertaining light. We had to maintain a careful balance of getting the very technical scientific information across, but at the same time make it exciting enough for people to want to watch and learn.”To overcome the challenges, the producers applied story-telling techniques that combine informative material with humor, animations, time-lapse photography, SciFi settings, and the like. A video game (the first mission released in 2009) for which Stacey functioned as the Project Lead Manager/Producer, also features training lessons about corrosion. The game makes notable use of its specific entertainment aspects to liven up this complex subject.While Daniel J. Dunmire, Director of the DoD Corrosion Office, narrates many of the videos, professional actor LeVar Burton (mentioned at the outset) played an important role in making four* of these video projects successful teaching tools as well. As noted by Stacey, he was chosen particularly for his educational and oratorical skills (as displayed in Reading Rainbow) and his ability to use technical and scientific terms with ease (as shown in Star Trek: TNG). And well chosen he was, as he makes the information on this difficult subject come across with such simplicity.Currently (mid 2011), Stacey is involved in the production of three more projects on corrosion, including the fourth video featuring LeVar Burton. With at least two more videos planned by the DoD, the call to combat this prevalent and unrelenting threat to our assets and infrastructure is far from over.(* Corrosion Comprehension: Combating the Pervasive Menace, shot in January of 2008; Corrosion Comprehension: Portraying Polymers, shot in June of 2009; Corrosion Comprehension: Specifically Ceramics, also shot in June of 2009; Corrosion Comprehension: Operating in a Corrosive Environment, shooting in August 2011)