Diane von Furstenberg Receives International Rescue Committee Freedom Award

Diane von Furstenberg was recognized by the International Rescue Committee on Thursday evening with the organization’s Freedom Award at its annual gala, the Rescue Dinner. The designer visited refugees in June at the IRC’s offices in Alexandria, Greece, where she met IRC staff members and Syrian refugees, who were recovering from traumas experienced on their journeys while trying to reunite with their families in Northern Europe.
Earlier this week, von Furstenberg visited the New York Resettlement Office to participate in a refugee business development workshop, where she met with a Congolese woman who is committed to starting an ice cream business.
The IRC notes they award the Freedom Award to “individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in support of refugees, and who have championed the cause of liberty, individual freedom and dignity. Diane von Furstenberg, a legend in the fashion industry, is a dedicated philanthropist and an outspoken advocate for vulnerable people.”
It has previously been awarded to the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Sen. John McCain, George Soros, Kofi Annan, Madeleine Albright and Winston Churchill.

Diane von Furstenberg at the IRC office in Greece. 

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Whiskey River Rescue – Justine Davis

Justine Davis - Whiskey River Rescue  artwork

Whiskey River Rescue

Justine Davis

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: March 9, 2017

Publisher: Tule Publishing

Seller: Tule Publishing Group, LLC


Still reeling from the unexpected sale of the land she and her horses live on, horse rescuer Kelsey Blaine is frantic when she comes home to find her possessions already boxed up and her house being bulldozed without any notice. Normally calm and kind, Kelsey becomes furious and impulsively cuts a privacy fence to confront the culprit–her mysterious neighbor, Joe.  Joe Kilcoyne is in a desperate place. He guards his secrets and hides from the world for a reason. He's the hottest topic of speculation around Whiskey River, but no one has ever dared to get close to him. That is, until fiery Kelsey comes barging straight into his life.  The last thing Joe needs is for Kelsey to breach his defenses and make him confront his past. But when her sunny, open, and determined personality collide with a haunted man with no idea how to reconnect with the world, the sparks that ignite shock them both.

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The Death House Rescue (Original Staging) – The Shadow

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The Death House Rescue (Original Staging)

The Shadow

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 0.95

Publish Date: January 10, 2007

© ℗ © 2007 Radio Spirits, Inc.

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Diary of a rescue: Marc Gasol’s mission to help immigrants

Moved by the desperation of immigrants and the efforts to rescue them, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol didn’t hesitate to accept an invitation to see for himself what one group is doing to help.
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Black Spiderman: Mamoudou Gassama Saves Toddler In Daring Paris Rescue

FRANCE-IMMIGRATION

Source: THIBAULT CAMUS / Getty

Mamoudou Gassama risked his life and the ability to live in his adopted home of France after performing one of the bravest acts ever seen. Gassama scaled a Paris apartment building to rescue a toddler who was hanging from a balcony and has been rightfully rewarded with citizenship in France and a job with the country’s fire service.

As reported by The Guardian, the man the French press has dubbed “le Spiderman” is an undocumented immigrant from Malia who climbed for stories on the side of the building to rescue the child. Despite the risk of deportation and injury, Gassama leaped into action without fear.

The Guardian writes:

Footage of the rescue shows Gassama, 22, pulling himself up the building’s storeys from balcony to balcony as a man on the fourth floor tries to hold on to the child by leaning across from a neighbouring balcony.

On reaching the fourth floor, Gassama puts one leg over the balcony before reaching out with his right arm and grabbing the child.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the child had already been rescued.

“Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a fire service spokesman said.

Tracked down by reporters 24 hours after the rescue, Gassama said he had acted without thinking. “I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child,” he said.

“I felt afraid when I saved the child … [when] we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down,” he added.

Gassama received praise from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and met with French President Emmanuel Macron who offered the hero a path to citizenship and the fire service job offer.

The news has been one of the best feel-good stories of the weekend, and the response online has been nothing short of joyous for good reason.

Photo:

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Newscaster Hilariously Mistakes What This Harvey Rescue Team Is Drinking

“I’m not sure that that was water … ”
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Wrong Rescue

Standing at the edge of the lake, a man saw a woman flailing about in the deep water. Unable to swim, the man screamed for help. A trout fisherman ran
up. The man said, “My wife is drowning and I can’t swim. Please save her. I’ll give you a hundred dollars.”

The fisherman dove into the water. In ten powerful strokes, he reached the woman, put his arm around her, and swam back to shore. Depositing her at
the feet of the man, the fisherman said, “Okay, where’s my hundred dollars?”

The man said, “Look, when I saw her going down for the third time, I thought it was my wife. But this is my mother-in-law.”

The fisherman reached into his pocket and said, “Just my luck. How much do I owe you?”

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George and Amal Clooney adopt — a beautiful rescue dog! See the pic

Millie, a 4-year-old dog from California’s San Gabriel Valley Humane Society, is just the latest furry bundle of joy to join the family.


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Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel (Rescue Me Saga #1) – Kallypso Masters

Kallypso Masters - Masters at Arms & Nobody's Angel (Rescue Me Saga #1)  artwork

Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel (Rescue Me Saga #1)

Kallypso Masters

Genre: Erotic Romance

Publish Date: November 16, 2013

Publisher: Kallypso Masters, LLC

Seller: Kallypso Masters LLC


Looking for a series with gritty, realistic characters who will get under your skin and never let go? If you have an open mind about how some people live, then look no further than the eye-opening Rescue Me Saga by USA Today Bestselling Author Kallypso Masters. PRAISE BY READERS: Ms. Masters shows in detail the stress and fears these men and women experience throughout their lives. As a spouse of a military veteran who suffers from PTSD I could relate to all of the characters in this beginning story and the following stories that are currently available…. But, warning…keep a box of tissues handy. I cried during each of the stories because I could see my husband’s experience in each of them. This is a series you don’t want to pass up! (Teresa Hughes, Review) ~ ~ ~ I found myself getting frustrated in the book, but not by anything the author did. Kallypso does a wonderful job of showing who her characters are. So any frustrating feelings I had was strictly towards a character who was simply being human and making a bad choice. Kallypso’s writing is very real—our heroes and heroines are human beings who make mistakes and bad decisions, who can be weak and vulnerable, or strong (sometimes TOO strong). (Anonymous) DESCRIPTIONS (COMBINED VOLUME): MASTERS AT ARMS begins the journey of three men, each on a quest for honor, acceptance, and to ease his unspoken pain. Their paths cross at one of the darkest points in their lives. As they try to come to terms with the aftermath–forging an unbreakable bond–will they ever truly become masters of their own fates? Or would fate become master of them? NOBODY'S ANGEL: Marc d’Alessio might own a BDSM club with his fellow military veterans, Adam and Damian, but he keeps all women at a distance. When Marc rescues Angelina Giardano from a disastrous first BDSM experience at his club, however, an uncharacteristic attraction leaves him torn between his safe, but lonely world, and a possible future with his angel. Angelina leaves BDSM behind only to have her dreams plagued by the Italian angel in a wolf mask who rescued her. When she meets Marc at a bar in her hometown, she can’t shake the feeling she knows him, but has no idea why he reminds her of her angel. While trying to protect Angelina from her abusive ex, though, Marc once again finds her at the Masters at Arms Club where she turns his safe, controlled world upside down. ABOUT THE RESCUE ME SAGA: The books in the ongoing Rescue Me Saga are not stand-alone stories and should be read in order, beginning with the books in this volume. (The introduction, MASTERS AT ARMS, also is available as a separate download at this site.) Characters will recur in later books to deal with further issues in their lives as the saga continues and each book builds upon all previous ones. Sometimes main characters even need another book to help resolve major issues affecting their relationships. BONUS MATERIAL in this version: Kallypso Masters has added the PLAYLIST of music that inspired her as she wrote about the first three couples mentioned in this combined volume, as well as a GLOSSARY OF TERMS and a CAST OF CHARACTERS in these books in the saga. CONTENT WARNING: Intended for mature adult readers not offended by profanity and graphic (but never gratuitous!) sex scenes. Due to the emotional way in which the author presents the subject matter (past and present), the books might cause triggers while reading. Please read the Author's Notes at the beginnings of each book before reading further.

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Fashion Magazine Covers Revamped With Rescue Pups Are So Fetch

These chic pups have found their place in the spotlight, but now it’s time to find them a home.

Polish advertising agency Ostrosiostro recreated iconic fashion magazine covers with rescue pups as the featured stars, in a campaign called “Pop psu ta moda.” Using 25 covers from titles including Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, the agency hopes to showcase the dogs in a bright and beautiful light, and raise funds to help 16 shelters in the country.

“[Many] campaigns show unwanted, abandoned dogs as sad,” Pawel Cichon, the agency’s founder, told The Huffington Post in an email. “I wanted to tell their story in a very positive and visually appealing way.”

Ostrosiostro promoted the photos on its website, as well as Facebook and Instagram, and will be showcasing prints of the covers at an upcoming fashion show in Warsaw. Since the campaign’s launch in August, about 70 percent of the canine models have found happy homes.

“Fashion and celebrities define beauty,” Cichon said in the campaign’s statement. “We wanted to take a little bit of that and change people’s perspective on shelter animals.”

Scroll through the covers below to check out the fierce canine couture.

 

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Miranda Lambert introduces her new rescue kitten — and shares sweet story

Before taking in Curtis Loew, she already had seven rescue dogs.


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Taylor Swift Comes to the Rescue Again, Gives Aussie Theater Production OK to Use ‘Shake It Off’

Taylor Swift has saved the day for an Australian theater group whose production had crashed into a hurdle when it was denied permission to use “Shake…
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Search And Rescue

Can you feel the breeze tickling your balls, your boner now bouncing in excitement? In Search And Rescue, shed the shirt and become one with nature as the hottest studs — led by TitanMen exclusives Dean Flynn, JR Matthews, Francois Sagat and Christopher Saint — take you on a masculine outdoor mission you won’t forget. Walking through the woods, shirtless lovers Christopher Saint and Adam Knox stop to enjoy the scenery — and each other, with Knox offering his ass after a deep oral exchange. Waiting for his friends to arrive, Niko Reeves takes matters into his own hands — but quickly gets a mouthful (and more) from excited ranger Dean Flynn. While working in the woods, hardhats JR Matthews, Francois Sagat and Niko get distracted by a backpack filled with lube that soon coats Matthews’ hole in a spirited tag-team fuck.

Watch the Full Length, High Quality Movie!

Can you feel the breeze tickling your balls, your boner now bouncing in excitement?

Stars: Adam Knox Christopher Saint J.R. Matthews Dean Flynn Francois Sagat Kiko Niko Reeves

Categories: Safe Sex High Definition Anal Outdoors Gay Muscles

Scene Number: 3

Orientation: Gay

Studio Name: Titan Media

AEBN

Kidd Kidd — Bail Bondsman to the Rescue with $105K … Plus a Hot Dog

The first thing G-Unit rapper Kidd Kidd needed when he got out of Riker’s Island on Monday … was a big juicy dog, and he got his bail bondsman to hook it up. Kidd’s bondsman, Ira Judelson, tells TMZ he forked over $ 105,000 —  $ 5k for…

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50 Cent to the Rescue: G-Unit Boss Plans to Bail Out Kid Kid?

Photo Credit: Instagram

Tuesday evening (June 30), Kid Kid, who recently inducted into the 2015 XXL Freshman Class was arrested before his slated performance at New York City’s Best Buy Theater. Later that evening, Queens rapper, 50 Cent, would eventually take the stage. During a break in his performance, the G-Unit boss,  would take a minute to address Sha Money XL, an Epic Records exec, who he believes should have bailed out Bobby Shmurda.

The following day (July 1), Fif took to his Instagram page and posted a video detailing the “wild ass night.” Having witnessed Kid Kid’s arrest, 50 then gave some sage advice to his artist, “Kid, don’t move.Those n****s will start shooting; NYPD don’t give a f**k!” As the video ends, 50 speaks on Kid Kid and possibly bailing him out.


Filed under: Rumors Tagged: bail, Best Buy Theater, Bobby Shmurda, Kid Kid, Sha Money XL
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Our Rescue Dog Was the Addition to My Family I Never Knew We Needed

It wasn’t love at first sight. She shook in her outdoor kennel, next to that dog who wouldn’t stop barking. Next to the pacing Airedale with long, matted hair. No, this little red dog looked like any dog, except her whole back end quivered when she sat, but her eyes stayed on you.

Say you had kids with you. Say you had two. One holding your hand and one strapped to your chest. The older one just wanted to go pet cats, just wanted to look through the dogs, just to see. Then you saw this little, trembling dog.

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Once you put a leash on her and walked 10 feet away from the front door, she did that thing where they sniff the air, snort at a dandelion, and pee. She ate grass. It looked like she’d had puppies recently. Her ribs showed too much. She walked a little ahead but kept her ears pointed at you. She never pulled; she was just on a walk. Same as it ever was.

Then you and the kids sat in the grass. This dog that’d been shaking from fear rolled on her back, right in between you three, and let out a huge sigh. She went from uncontrollable fear to pure relaxation in minutes. She looked up, ever so lovingly, at your older daughter, and you saw they matched. Maybe they saw the loneliness in each other.

Maybe this dog knew. Maybe all those times you told yourself that the right dog would come someday when you weren’t looking, like single ladies in their late 30s say about Mr. Right, had truth to it. Maybe it wasn’t just a lie you told yourself when you saw other people cuddling with their fantastic dogs.

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I’d always told myself I didn’t have time for a dog. Told myself I didn’t have patience, or energy, or the proper space.

But I asked how to apply to adopt. I filled out the paperwork on a hunch while my daughter fed her treats in the lobby. The dog’s fear and anxiety could prompt scary situations, especially with the baby who didn’t know any better and the eight-year-old who did but respected no boundary. Bringing a scared, 50-pound dog into our little apartment could be a terrible decision. But I handed over the clipboard with my signature.

They agreed to hold her for 24 hours, and we had to return her to her cage. My oldest said, “Boy Mom, that little dog is going to make a family really happy. I hope she finds them soon.”

Our lease required a doctor’s note in order to get an animal. The property manager emailed me the paperwork the next morning. I called my daughter’s therapist, whose office was a block from our house, and asked if she’d fill it out. We’d talked about it already.

Mia needed a dog. She had attachment and trust issues. I always did my best to be the dependable one. I didn’t promise things I couldn’t keep. And I’d promised her we’d get a dog someday, something she reminded me of daily.

By one o’clock in the afternoon, I’d handed in the note from the therapist that said my daughter needed a companion animal with heartbreaking honesty. The pound called and said we were approved. I drove to a box store and picked up dishes, a collar, a leash, and food. I drove to pick Mia up from school. She was expecting her big sister to pick her up for their weekly outing, but I stood there with a bright purple leash in my hand.

Mia saw it and knew what it meant.

“Are we getting the dog?!” she said. I nodded. “Oh, Mom. Thank you! Thank you!”

I’d tried to talk myself out of this many times. I’d even sent texts to friends who’d also try to talk me out of it, asking their opinion. They repeated everything I’d told myself. This could go very, very badly in quite a number of ways. She was a scared, homeless mother who’d been abused. I saw too much of myself in this dog. I knew what she needed. We had that understanding already.

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I changed her name from Yogi to Bodhi, the Buddhist term for enlightenment, the true form, and freedom from hatred. It only took her a few days to learn it was hers. She took to us completely, and trotted after Mia from the living room, the bedroom, and back. Bodhi’s curled up body became a fixture wherever Mia settled during the day or at night. After a while, Bodhi even started to appreciate the baby for her baby ways. Coraline likes to crawl over the dog’s middle when she’s stretched out on the floor, pausing to teeter on her belly and laughing.

One night, Bodhi wanted to sleep under Mia’s bed instead of with her, which caused Mia to pout and curl up in a tight ball way up on the top bunk. We’d only had Bodhi for a few days, and I woke up just after midnight to the sound of the dog pacing the hallway, whining. I thought for sure she had to poop and started to worry over how I’d get up and do that without waking the baby.

“Bodhi,” I whispered.

Her head appeared immediately in the light of the hallway from my slightly opened door. I patted my bed. She leaped up, turned around a few times, and let out that huge sigh again, resting her head on my legs. My sweet dog. No doubt.

I look over at Mia and Bodhi lying on the couch together, watching TV on a lazy Sunday morning. Bodhi has her head and front leg draped over Mia’s belly. We’ll take her for a walk later, maybe to that special spot by the creek. Mia complained about having to walk the dog last weekend, but after we were out for a bit she said, “I feel happier for some reason.”

I’ve had the same reaction. I vacuum more. I find myself outside gazing up at the pre-dawn sky every morning before any coffee is made. I walk a mile a day or more. I do laundry more often. I wipe up more drips of drool off the floor. And I feel happier for some reason. A reason that comically snores. A reason that knows when I need to feel her warm, heavy head in my lap. A reason that is currently lying across my feet under the desk.

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A version of this post originally appeared on stepville.com.

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Need to File for a Divorce!

What My Pit Bull Rescue Taught Me About Unconditional Love

I’m in love with a bully. It’s true. I think it’s safe to say that most people assume she is mean-spirited and dangerous, but they don’t see the side of her that I do. I’ve often been asked why I let her into my life to begin with, seeing as how she makes it more difficult for me to find a place to live. She eats only expensive food and people even move to the other side of the street when they see us walking together. People assume too much about us.

Nahla, my beautiful pit bull rescue, has taught me more about love, happiness, and loyalty in the past year than my husband ever did. She is fiercely kind, comforting, and forgiving — everything I could ever want in a spouse. She touches places in my heart that I was sure I had boarded up and abandoned long ago. We laugh together in the good times, and we cry together (well actually I cry, and she licks my face) during the bad times.

I think I grieved more in the three hours I thought I was going to lose her because of a snake bite than I did for my husband when he left. Actually, my husband was the one who told me, “we’ll have to put her down because it is going to cost too much to save her.” (Can you believe he actually said that?!) Thankfully, the vet saved her life, and I got sense enough to kick him to the curb a few short months later. It is kind of ironic to think I almost lost the one who loves me most because of the one who loved me least.

My point in all of this is simply to say that love isn’t what I thought it was when I got married. It isn’t something only seen on date night with twelve red roses. It isn’t something that can be confined to a ring, a white dress and a cake. Language, race, political views, gender and even species don’t matter to love. The truest, realest love I have ever known comes from someone who can’t even utter the words, “I love you.” She tells me with good-morning kisses and good-night snuggles. She saw me at my worst, broken and alone, literally lying on the floor of my bathroom and she still loved me. She loves me so much that she brought me her favorite toy and laid beside me on the cold floor. This gesture, among many others, gave me the strength to love and trust again. She uncovers daily the beautiful pieces of me that I had lost in my marriage and she sets them free.

Even as I’m writing this she has made her way over to rest her head on my knee to remind me that I’m never alone. She is the most beautiful gift and I vow to always cherish her — down to the very last chewed up shoe.

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Rescue This Room (Before It Goes to the Dogs!) | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network

A dedicated canine caregiver has let her home become overrun by dogs and it’s up to Soleil and the team to rescue a living room that has turned into a design disaster with functional storage solutions, a space-changing door, and vibrant wall accents.

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Each week host Soleil Moon Frye and her team of experts meet a couple who find themselves stuck in their quest of making over a room, tackling a once-in-a-lifetime event or repurposing that favorite antique.

Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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St. Bernards To Be Dispatched At SXSW To Rescue The Dying. (Cellphones, That Is.)

Even phones need rescue dogs sometimes.

At least, that’s the idea behind “Mophie Rescue” — an initiative at this year’s SXSW that will equip St. Bernards with portable phone chargers so festival goers won’t have to worry about their cellphones running out of juice.

Mophie, a company that makes juice pack battery cases for phones and phone chargers, will be partnering with the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation to provide the service to festival attendees this weekend.

All you have to do is tweet a screenshot of your dying phone battery from noon to 6 p.m., Friday through Sunday, to @mophie with the hashtag #mophierescue. You may just be one of the lucky people who’ll be chosen to get a phone pick-me-up from a St. Bernard, a breed known for rescuing people in the Alps.

“They are obviously traditionally known for saving peoples’ lives, so we took that and molded it into our own thing,” Mophie’s Kevin Malinowski told USA Today.

The St. Bernard Rescue Foundation says that they are excited to participate in the upcoming festival.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Mophie to help raise awareness and hopefully find safe and loving homes for these dogs,” said Olive Ashwell, marketing manager for the foundation, per a news release. “There’s a shared sense of passion between both our organizations as this amazing partnership launches at SXSW.”
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Planes: Fire & Rescue – Bobs Gannaway

Bobs Gannaway - Planes: Fire & Rescue  artwork

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Bobs Gannaway

Genre: Action & Adventure

Price: $ 14.99

Rental Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: July 18, 2014


“Planes: Fire and Rescue” is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Lil' Dipper, heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.

© © 2014 Disney

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Mom’s Movie Minute – Planes: Fire and Rescue

Should you fly into theaters to see Planes: Fire and Rescue? Angela Hoover gives you the bottom line in this episode of Mom’s Movie Minute.
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Disneytoon Studios worked closely with CalFire to make “Planes: Fire & Rescue” as authentic as possible

“Do your research.”

That is the lesson that John Lasseter — Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios — has repeatedly drilled into the artists that he works with. That before they jump feet-first into developing a brand-new animated feature, these filmmakers must first understand the world that this movie’s characters are supposed to occupy.

2014-07-16-CalFire3.jpg

In the case of Pixar’s “Up,” this meant that Pete Docter and his production team had to go to Venezuela. Where it then took them three days of hard traveling by airplanes, jeeps & helicopters before they finally reached Mount Roraima (i.e., the highest point of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateau in South America) and Angel Falls.

And when it came to Disney “Frozen,” animators & effects artists flew to Jackson Hole, WY in the middle of winter. Just so that they could then don authentic period clothing like long skirts and mush through deep snow. So that — when it came time to animate Anna’s struggle to reach Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Sauna — they could then get all of the details just right.

But when it came time to research “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” the story team from Disneytoon Studios didn’t get to fly off to South America or Wyoming. They just hopped in a car and drove on down to the Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base. Where they then talked with dozens of aerial firefighters who work for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection AKA CalFire.

2014-07-16-CalFire5.jpg

“We worked with these guys for four years,” Paul Gerard, the director of Creative Development for Disneytoon Studios, explained. “And CalFire helped us so much with ‘Fire & Rescue.’ They let us know everything that you’d possibly want to know about Air Attack. And we’d then not only try to incorporate as much of that information as we possibly could into our film … Well, we’d also invite members of the Air Attack team to come look at our movie while it was still on reels. We’d then take the additional notes that these guys gave us and fold them into our film to make ‘Fire & Rescue’ as authentic as possible.”

Now I know that — especially for folks outside of the animation industry — that it may sound kind of strange that Disneytoon Studios would put this much effort into a sequel to 2013’s “Planes.” Given that the first film in this series had been such a success … Well, it must have been awfully tempting to just put this project on auto-pilot. Have Dusty Crophopper compete in yet another ’round-the-world race.

“But that’s not how we do things here at DisneyToon Studios,” said Jeffrey M. Howard — the co-screenwriter of both the original “Planes” as well as “Fire & Rescue.” “We weren’t looking to repeat ourselves with the second film in the ‘Planes’ series. We wanted to do different things with Dusty this time around. Have him go off and explore an entirely different corner of his world.”

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Which — given that the central character of this series is a crop duster turned world-class racer — was something of a challenge. But it was actually “Fire & Rescue” director Bobs Gannaway who, during the research phase of this Disneytoon Studios production, stumbled across the factoid which eventually allowed Dusty to soar off in an entirely new direction.

“It was Bobs — as he was researching the history of agricultural airplanes — who discovered that these planes had also been used for firefighting. Only instead of dropping chemicals & fertilizer on fields, they’d then drop water on burning forests,” Howard continued. “And it was that neat bit of trivia — that crop dusters had once been used as single engine air tankers — that then allowed us to step away from the world of racing and go explore this entirely different aspect of aviation.”

Which is why Jeffrey, Bobs & Paul made their first trip to Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base back in 2010. But what they thought was going to be a simple research trip suddenly changed the overall theme of their film.

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“Now you have to understand that a lot of us who worked on these movies were big aviation geeks. So we were like ‘Show us the planes. Let us see what you have,’ ” said Howard said. “And as the folks at Hemet-Ryan showed us their fleet, we discovered that all of their aircraft are repurposed. I mean, there’s actually one aircraft in the Western World that’s been purpose-built specifically for firefighting. Everything else was originally built to do something else.”

“Take — for example — the S2, CalFire’s main tanker. It used to be a sub fighter. And the OV-10 Bronco was a military reconnaissance plane. While the Huey had dozens of roles going all the way back to Vietnam,” Jeffrey continued. “So all of these aircraft had originally been designed to do other things. But now that they were part of the Air Attack fleet, they all had these brand-new lives doing different & challenging things. And taking that into account … Well, that’s when the idea that ‘Fire & Rescue’ might then become this story about second chances began formulating in our heads.”

So to get better acquainted with the world of CalFire, the folks at Disneytoon Studios regularly began making the 95-mile drive from the Disney Media Campus in Glendale to Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base in Riverside. Where Battalion Chief Travis Alexander was happy to throw open the door and let Disney’s artists get better acquainted with the world of aerial firefighting.

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“They let us see everything, including the red stuff which they drop on fires. They call it slurry or mud. And it’s red so you can then see it as you drop it out of a plane. You can see from a distance. And it has the sort of consistency of snot,” Gerard stated. “Now I have an 8 year-old son. So I know a lot about snot. And that’s the stuff that they fill up the S2 with. Because on the sub hunter, they’ve built in these tanks. And on the back, they have this double gauge to just plug in and they then load up this plane up with slurry.”

“Now you have to understand that — when you’re working with artists & animators — we’re just a bunch of big kids. So as soon as you’d say ‘Hey, this slurry feels like snot,’ a bunch of animators would then immediately say ‘Let me feel,’ ” Jeffrey laughed.

The other thing that Gannaway, Gerard & Howard discovered as they continued to hang out at Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base was that it wasn’t just the aircraft that had been repurposed. That a lot of the base’s buildings / support structures had either been repurposed or built from scratch.

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“We’d point at some building and say ‘Has that always been here?’ And the Air Attack team members would say Nope. ‘We just got some lumber and some corrugated metal and put it up ourselves,’ Jeffrey continued. “Everywhere you looked around the Air Attack base, the CalFire crew had made smart use of repurposed materials. Take — for example — the cabinets where they store their giveaway t-shirts and coffee mugs. These cabinets used to belong to this video game store that was just down the road. They were where that store used to store all of their Nintendos. That video store was just giving these cabinets away because they didn’t need them anymore. CalFire snatched these cabinets up and put them to great use at the Air Attack base. And that look — this place where the pieces didn’t often look like they quite fit together because they’re actually made up of all this hand-me-down equipment — began to inform the look & design of ‘Fire & Rescue.’ “

Mind you, this isn’t to say that everyone at Disneytoon Studios was immediately on board with the idea that Dusty Crophopper’s next adventure should be set in the world of aerial firefighting.

“Just like at Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar, we have a story trust at Disneytoon Studios that directors can pitch their stories to. And one time after Bobs had pitched the story for ‘Fire & Rescue,’ one of the other directors here said ‘It’s really convenient — from a story-telling point-of-view — that just as Dusty lands, the klaxon goes off, there’s this fire and the team then has to go fight it,” Paul said.

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“But here’s the thing: One time when we had brought all of our artists down to Hemet-Ryan to talk with the Air Attack team and draw all of their planes, that actually happened to us. The klaxon went off and we then had to quickly get all of our artists off of the runway,” Gerard continued. “And we were like ‘Wow! A fire!” And the Air Attack team was like ‘You guys only hear about the big ones.’ And then they took off.”

FYI: That “You only hear about the big ones” line actually wound up in the movie. As did Hemet-Ryan Air Attack’s funky hand-me-down quality as well as its repurposed air fleet. Which is why — if you want to see the most authentic film that’s been made about aerial firefighting in the past 50 years — then you really need to go see Disneytoon Studios’ “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” Which opens in theaters this Friday.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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