New movie Clouds shows social media’s power to amplify hope and inspiration

Whereas increasingly folks — particularly these below 30 — depend on social media as their primary source of news and knowledge, two-thirds of people in the US now believe that social media has a “mostly negative effect” on how issues are entering into America right now, in accordance with Pew Analysis. There’s deep concern and distrust concerning the disinformation, divisiveness, and prejudice that is being amplified on social media.

The work of director Justin Baldoni affords a counterpoint to the negativity about social media, and that is why we requested him to affix us on PJDM’s Now What sequence to speak about his newest film, Clouds — which Disney bought and launched straight on Disney Plus on October 16.

Baldoni has produced and directed two films — Five Apart Apart in 2019 and now Clouds in 2020 — about terminally-ill youngsters who have been ready to make use of social media to amplify messages of hope, compassion and the one facet of being human that unites us all: loss of life. 

The coronavirus has led to over 1 million deaths worldwide and over 200,000 in the USA. We stay in a tradition that struggles to speak about loss of life, and it’s hardly ever explored in depth in media or leisure. Nonetheless, Baldoni has constructed a profession round tackling the subject of loss of life head-on, first with My Last Days — his YouTube hit sequence for Rainn’s Wilson’s SoulPancake — after which with each 5 Toes Aside and Clouds. 

COVID-19 is making us all cope with loss of life at an unprecedented stage. However, in case you ask Baldoni, his two films aren’t actually about loss of life. They’re about what loss of life teaches us about how you can stay. It is a theme that may remind loads of PJDM readers of Steve Jobs’ famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

Baldoni met Sobiech in early 2013 after Sobiech’s track “Clouds” went viral on YouTube. The upbeat lyric advised the story of Sobiech’s battle with most cancers and discovering peace after being identified as terminal. Baldoni’s 20-minute documentary on Sobiech was launched on SoulPancake’s YouTube channel on Might 3, 2013. Zach handed away on Might 20. 


Justin Baldoni (heart) on the set of Clouds with the film’s three lead actors.


The documentary and Zach’s loss of life led to an excellent larger wave of viral curiosity in Clouds. On the day of Sobiech’s funeral, the track shot to No. 1 on iTunes — beating out Beyoncé’s newest track. It was the primary track from an unsigned artist to hit No. 1, and the proceeds went to Zach’s fund for youngsters’s most cancers analysis, particularly earmarked for osteosarcoma — the uncommon type of bone most cancers that Zach had.

Over seven years later, the film has turned Zach’s unique track Clouds right into a viral hit as soon as once more. After the film debuted on Disney Plus final Friday, it led to Clouds re-climbing the iTunes charts till it hit No. 1 once more on Sunday — this time edging out Justin Bieber. And once more, the proceeds can be added to the over $2 million already raised to assist fund osteosarcoma analysis.

Baldoni shares the story of the way it all got here collectively, together with classes realized about dwelling, dying and discovering hope at a time when a lot of the world is struggling to search out which means and objective throughout this world disaster.

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Jason Hiner