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Sean Casey - VORTEX2

Dear Forum Participants,

I’ve heard that some people are blaming or targeting Josh Wurman and VORTEX2 for what they perceive as their impeding on the TIV’s mission last spring. This is neither helpful nor accurate.

I want to tell you the whole story of my relationship with Josh Wurman and V2 and clarify any misconceptions. Josh has been the biggest and longest-term supporter of my Imax film. Without his help, trust and friendship, I never could have made this Imax film.

To be clear, Josh is not in charge of my funding, and neither was VORTEX2. We had applied for a federal grant to finish the film, and Josh and other scientists involved in V2 were strong advocates in our getting the grant. Josh even helped us write it in his own free time, which was incredibly generous. When the TIV was involved in the irresponsible driving incident on May 19, VORTEX2 took a lot of grief for it when it was completely unrelated to them. Because the TIV was filming V2, people assume we were officially working together, which we were not; we were just filming their activities. The grant became in jeopardy not because of Josh or V2 but because the people deciding whether or not to give us the grant were rightly worried about our tactics in delivering this footage. Josh at the time suggested we take the TIV out of the field to help save the grant, not to order us around, but to save my butt. This was Josh’s suggestion as my friend and supporter of my film, not as a representative of V2 or anyone else.

I decided to keep the TIV in the field, but I didn’t want to risk losing my grant or drag V2 into anymore potential drama caused by our team. So my Imax film’s production company, the representatives of the grant we had applied and myself decided to stay at least 75 miles away from V2 while chasing in the TIV for the remainder of the year. V2 didn’t mandate this, Josh Wurman didn’t mandate this, and it was between the granters and us.

Josh helped me out when he could, calling me to let me know where V2 was setting up for the day so that the TIV team could avoid that area. My frustration was with myself and my team for getting into this situation, not at Josh or V2. But at times I took it out on them, which I truly regret. Josh was put in the impossible situation of helping us out of the mess we had made, and in doing so, vilified by my reactions. I was so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted by the loss of a close friend, being under the gun to finish this film and dealing with the fallout of my team’s driving on May 19th that I said things that in hindsight were exaggerated. I could kick myself for saying anything that implied that the scientists or V2 were the cause of my problems. They weren’t.

I truly believe in the V2 mission and I am finishing an Imax film that shows their passion and commitment to the work they did over the last two years. It sickens me to see them blamed for anything that has to do with me. I really appreciate that there’s so much support for my film, it means the world to me, but the fact that V2 got sucked up into this drama they didn’t seek out or deserve is not right. They don’t deserve to be criticized.
 
Always good to hear directly from those envolved to clarify and give their point-of-view. However I think the issues with Josh for some stem from comments made that go beyond a single incident and go beyond what is broadcast on Discovery's Storm Chasers show.

Luckily, folks here have clarified in other threads that Josh is NOT in charge of Vortex2, that it is a group of folks that make 'committee' decisions.

I am happy you made the clarification about the founding sources. Still a tad vague as to who is the funding sources, but I understand that it common. Good to know where funding does NOT crossover between you. I will just leave it as something that was portrayed presumably via Discovery's show and obviously inaccurate.

I think it would be great to get some feedback from Josh Wurman too on these and some other discussion regarding certain statements he has made both on and off TV shows.
 
As is often the case when hollywood gets involved, the truth is not as "exciting" as spinning something into a controversy...
Very good to hear the story directly from Sean.
 
Sean:

I also cut and pasted this to SkywarnOnline.com in a thread there discussing the show and similar topics.
 
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Like George alluded to it seems to an extent the producers of Storm Chasers could be blamed for any misconception - they definitely like to portray Josh as kind of a jerk although when he spoke at the Minnesota Storm Chasing convention last February he seemed to be a very friendly, down to earth and a passionate person in regards to storms and researching them, etc...
 
Thanks for the clarifications and frankness of your post, Sean. Like many people on this forum, I think we are all aware that what is shown on the show has a large dose of fiction with regards to the interactions between the different parties. Editing can be used to completely change the context of an event, with or without permission of the parties (although I get the feeling this is all done above board here). In fact, I'd say the editing it 99% of the reason for most of these issues. The forced drama is not something many of us here like, but the strength of opinions directed at Josh and yourself etc by the viewers on Youtube and the official forums show that these 'storylines' do attract a large and vocal group of fans which just gives Discovery the validation to take this route. I'm not entirely sure why Josh managed to rope himself into this conflict. He surely had no reason to make the comments on the show which instigated this storyline if he is not an official part of the show this year but I doubt either of you expected such a fallout over such a comment either. If Josh wasn't in cahoots regarding this, I'm sure a lawsuit would have already been fired Discovery's way ;)

I imagine Discovery hold quite a few strings when it comes to your budgeting (not only for the show but the movie itself). I don't imagine you'd have a cumbersome discovery channel film crew following you around if you could help it whilst filming an IMAX movie. I guess the self character assassination you seem to do to yourself regularly on the show is a necessary evil to keep the money coming and the discovery writers appeased? In a way, it would be kinda noble to sacrifice your image for the 'good' of the show if this is in fact the case. Very few 'stars' on the show get favourable treatment from my colleagues and friends who watch and the thought of people making those assumptions would really get to me if I were in your shoes...

Still, if there is one thing the whole Josh/Sean hoohah on the youtubes shows, it's that you do have a lot of people out there who care about you and your movie, even if they are gullible idiots who'll believe anything put in front of them on TV ;) Still, they are gullible idiots who will spend $$$ in an IMAX theatre next year so best of luck with the movie!
 
Thanks much for explaining everything Sean, people are sided one way or the other, most people have to realize that Storm Chasers doesn't show everything, some people are just clueless to how people are outside of the show, and start talking and starting crap that has no need to be started...its just the way things are I guess. Thanks for the clarification though Sean
 
Sean, thanks for your detailed explanation. It sheds light on something a lot of us have been scratching our heads about.

I'm hoping to go to the Chasercon next February, and would hope Dr. Wurman makes his presence known there. It would be a shame if he chose not to come because of misunderstandings and rumors making him out to be someone he's not.
 
Dear Forum Participants,

I’ve heard that some people are blaming or targeting Josh Wurman and VORTEX2 for what they perceive as their impeding on the TIV’s mission last spring. This is neither helpful nor accurate.

I want to tell you the whole story of my relationship with Josh Wurman and V2 and clarify any misconceptions. Josh has been the biggest and longest-term supporter of my Imax film. Without his help, trust and friendship, I never could have made this Imax film.

To be clear, Josh is not in charge of my funding, and neither was VORTEX2. We had applied for a federal grant to finish the film, and Josh and other scientists involved in V2 were strong advocates in our getting the grant. Josh even helped us write it in his own free time, which was incredibly generous. When the TIV was involved in the irresponsible driving incident on May 19, VORTEX2 took a lot of grief for it when it was completely unrelated to them. Because the TIV was filming V2, people assume we were officially working together, which we were not; we were just filming their activities. The grant became in jeopardy not because of Josh or V2 but because the people deciding whether or not to give us the grant were rightly worried about our tactics in delivering this footage. Josh at the time suggested we take the TIV out of the field to help save the grant, not to order us around, but to save my butt. This was Josh’s suggestion as my friend and supporter of my film, not as a representative of V2 or anyone else.

I decided to keep the TIV in the field, but I didn’t want to risk losing my grant or drag V2 into anymore potential drama caused by our team. So my Imax film’s production company, the representatives of the grant we had applied and myself decided to stay at least 75 miles away from V2 while chasing in the TIV for the remainder of the year. V2 didn’t mandate this, Josh Wurman didn’t mandate this, and it was between the granters and us.

Josh helped me out when he could, calling me to let me know where V2 was setting up for the day so that the TIV team could avoid that area. My frustration was with myself and my team for getting into this situation, not at Josh or V2. But at times I took it out on them, which I truly regret. Josh was put in the impossible situation of helping us out of the mess we had made, and in doing so, vilified by my reactions. I was so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted by the loss of a close friend, being under the gun to finish this film and dealing with the fallout of my team’s driving on May 19th that I said things that in hindsight were exaggerated. I could kick myself for saying anything that implied that the scientists or V2 were the cause of my problems. They weren’t.

I truly believe in the V2 mission and I am finishing an Imax film that shows their passion and commitment to the work they did over the last two years. It sickens me to see them blamed for anything that has to do with me. I really appreciate that there’s so much support for my film, it means the world to me, but the fact that V2 got sucked up into this drama they didn’t seek out or deserve is not right. They don’t deserve to be criticized.

I can appreciate your explanation Sean but "after the fact" messages like this just smell bad.

And, I have to admit that at the end of your post, I was looking for a disclaimer that said "And Josh did not make me say this..." and pictured Josh looking over your shoulder nodding. ;)
 
Sean,
Thank you for posting what you did.
"Hopefully" this may quite some of the wild and flagrant bashing going on. Being out there for over 2 months with you and everyone else involved I have fought with myself for a few months to not post what I knew factually was involved in the making of the V2, Sean, TIV, Wurman drama.
I would have gladly done so, but did not feel it was really my place to step in unless asked.
Well done.
 
I can appreciate your explanation Sean but "after the fact" messages like this just smell bad.

And, I have to admit that at the end of your post, I was looking for a disclaimer that said "And Josh did not make me say this..." and pictured Josh looking over your shoulder nodding. ;)

I'm inclined to believe this because the producers on Storm Chasers have a history of bending the facts and do it all the time. I don't watch the show much, and after this I don't think I will at all. It's just gotten too over the top.
 
Thanks very much Sean for taking the time to explain this whole blown out of proportion incident. Too bad that this thread can not see the masses who have either toughly criticized or even threaten chasers for this incident.
 
Sean Although you are explaining this to many of the Chasers. I think you need to direct your message on your blog, website, and facebook. I would imagine it's the wednesday night couch jockeys threatening rather than the actual chaser community(I however cannot speak for everyone, but that is my assumption).
 
Sean,
Thank you for posting this clarification. I'll admit I was angry when I read about the incident and then frustrated with Wurman after watching that episode of Storm Chasers. Even though I felt I didn't know the whole story.

After reading this, it's cleared a lot of questions I've had and showed a side of Wurman I have never seen which I am glad to see. Watching the show, it does seem a negative light is cast upon Wurman. However, after knowing what I know about the entire incident, I just came to tell myself we're all human and we all make mistakes. It what makes us all human.

What I really want to say I really admire the strength of you and your team, especially after the rough year you all have faced. My heart goes out to you all. Keep up the good work and I can't wait to see your film. I just wish I could be out there with you guys. Take care and keep doing the great work you guys do.
 
Sean, thank you for taking the time to come on here and post this message. Unfortunately with television, it's all about ratings. Granted Ronan is trying to make a living too, but they could use disgression like they did with Reed and Joel.
It's unfortunate thatV2 was dragged into the mud with that episode. It just shows you the couch dwellers that think the show is 100% real like the TIV. I will admit that after Josh going on TWC with his interview with Bettes that a lot of us were annoyed with him and V2 was the butt of several jokes.
But after seeing their preliminary results that were released earlier this fall, i think the Vortex2 project was a great project to have happened. There were a lot of great people involved and they got outstanding results.
I think the film and V2 are both great projects to have happened. It's unfortunate that the tv fan base reacted negatively to the episode. I fully support Sean Casey and wish him the best with his film.

*Disclaimer: I am a moderator for the TIV Fan Page on Facebook. My opinion here does not reflect that of Sean Casey.

GO TIV!
 
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There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, etc... The whole season of Storm Chasers is what, 8 episodes? And if you cut out the time commercials occupy then cull the recaps and teaser for the next episode you are left with maybe 40 minutes of content. There's no way you can accurately portray complex human interactions and the chase itself for a whole chase season in those eight 40 minute segments. Hell, I've lived with my wife for 16 years and I still haven't figured her out.

And I'll never understand the qualitative vs quantitative part of our thinking that allows one faux pas to trump a multitude of good deeds. I'm not preaching, I'm as guilty as any of you. I think we can safely say most of us don't know Sean, Josh, Reed, or any of the others any better than we did before this show aired. It's entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
I don't necessarily believe that the chaser community blames Dr. Wurman and the V2 team for what happened, this honor seems to fall on the hordes of youtube heroes who know little of the subject and believe everything they see on TV. Ultimately the exposure that you received on the show and the massive amount of hits generated when the video was aired turned this entire mess inside out. I don't think such scrutiny would be fair under normal circumstances but when you choose to be in the spotlight as such, you must come to expect that this stuff will happen.

What happened on May 19th was unfortunate, but it will happen again, probably many times in the years to come (and for as long as Storm Chasers remains on the air). I hope that a lesson was learned by everyone, although I feel for Sean and his team having to be the public face of this problem. A problem in which tons of chasers have contributed to over the years, whether they will admit it or not. I know I will be monitoring the possibility of convergence on all future chases and doing my best to pinpoint a target away from the masses. It's the only solution I see to some of these high risk days.

I am glad that an arrangement was made before everything turned into an even bigger mess. I do wish that the Discovery Channel (production crew) would do a better job of sorting these things out and not portraying everyone in such a poor light, but thus is the nature of modern media.
 
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Don't forget everyone...while Discovery is the network it is shown on, don't leave out the producers/editors/videographers at Original Media. Discovery may have creative input and such, but Original Media (and different from Original Productions from Tornado Road fame) are the main folks that film and edit the show. I can't speak for the show itself, but many field producers and videographers on these projects are often contracted...not permanent employees. But someone close to the show may be more specific.
 
Thank you Sean for the clarification. I suspected there was much more (and less) going on than was shown through the creative editing of a reality television show. I am amazed at some of the comments by folks out in Facebookland and other places that take the events portrayed literally. Good luck with the film editing as I will definitely watch the show this spring with my wife.

Bill Hark
 
Sean Although you are explaining this to many of the Chasers. I think you need to direct your message on your blog, website, and facebook. I would imagine it's the wednesday night couch jockeys threatening rather than the actual chaser community(I however cannot speak for everyone, but that is my assumption).

I completely agree with Mike here, Sean you should find out a way if possible to appeal to those who aren't just in the chaser community, but also those who are fans of the show, because most of us chasers have gotten the point that Storm Chasers is a TV Show not showing everything that goes on, I'd also strongly suggest appealing to the Audience of "Storm Chasers" who are not storm chasers.
 
This is a funny topic. I meet people who believe everything they see on this show - that your entire 80+ hour week has been reduced to one hour (less with commercials) and that Hollywood surely captured all of the important events. Really? They believe the relationships portrayed are accurate. It is a freaking reality TV show - drama is made up- worked up - enhanced. Half truths are told (which become truth according to others)

It is ironic that they call it reality TV.

Josh must be proud that his entire life's work is being summed up by a reality TV show who has chosen to portray him in a negative light (at least at times - portraying him in a negative light). Obviously - Joe Blow - looks at Josh as the enemy of Sean.
 
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It is ironic that they call it reality tv. There isn't much realistic about it.

I wholeheartedly agree. I have to admit, I was extremely irked by last weeks episode and was upset about the way Josh was acting towards the TIV and its crew. I should have known it was just another crappy TV show blowing everything out of proportion. Call me a causality of the war on truth. While I love the idea behind Storm Chasers, it has definitely put a bad taste in my mouth lately.
 
In a perfect world where money is not a problem, Josh and Sean chase storms in a floating pirate ship.

I didn't see a problem with what you did. If you could see over the hills like you said, you were risking a ticket if you got called in, maybe a field sobriety test for operating left of center, but that is all. Would I do it? Hell no. I would have immediately picked another storm or gone home after seeing that traffic jam.

Tune in next year when Dr. Wurman becomes the TIV2's driver.
 
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