Ashley Miller is getting legal threats from a company called Cinematic Appraisals, because she found their claims laughable, and publicly laughed at them. I have to join in the laughing.
They claim to be a scientific script review company — for a fee, they’ll take a look at your movie script proposal, run it through some scientific tests, and tell you whether it will
connect with an audience (I wonder if that’s how movies like Transformers end up getting made?) I wondered how they do scientific script appraisal, so I visited their pseudoscience page. It’s illustrated with this:
They put your script under a microscope, and use molecular models to do something or other? What? If only they’d included some beakers of colored water with some dry ice to make them bubble, then I might believe this is a real photo of science in action!
But no, this is what they say they do:
The Mind Science Method has been lab tested and is proven to correlate with the actual psychophysiological responses of a subject to the screenplay. Testing measured neurobiological activity with a variety of electrodermal equipment including galvanic skin monitor, electromyrograms [sic], a zygomaticaus [sic?], a corrogator [sic?], an EEG and EKG (MP150WSW with Tel100C remote monitoring module data acquisition system).
The galvanic skin monitor is pretty much the same thing as the e-meter Scientology uses — it’s basically measuring how much you’re sweating. Electromyograms are recordings of muscle activity; I presume that’s what they doing with the zygomaticus (a muscle in your face involved in smiling) and the corrugator muscles (which are used to wrinkle up your forehead). Then they’re measuring general brain activity and heart rate.
If you want to get a strong response from a person strapped into such a setup, tell them a detailed story about sexual activity, or about lots of violent action with graphic descriptions. Suddenly, a great deal of the American movie industry is explained!
Otherwise, though, it’s a silly sciencey description of some really basic physiological apparatus, with misspellings and awkward grammar, that isn’t going to be able to do what they claim it will do, even with their pretense of a magic algorithm.
I can understand why they’d rely on lawsuits to protect their reputation. It’s too flimsy and compromised to be able to stand on its own.