Everyone knows the way to the “front door” to university. Study hard, get good grades, take extracurricular courses, check standardized tests.
Having a rich parent who can smash a wheel by writing. A seven or eight-digit check to school as a “donation”. Rick Singer is not very interested in the former and the latter.
He is in a hurry to inform the family of the yacht and Benze, offering no guarantees. It can guarantee entry, and the price is even lower.
This is the side-door method in which they pay a simple bribe to a sports coach or sports director. It takes the child to school as an athlete in a smaller sport.
The kid doesn’t have to be athletic; The singer will treat the image to look like a paddle and sailor. And that would ONLY cost the family a few hundred thousand dollars.
We saw many scenes where Modin, the singer, explained all this to parents who were very, very, very, very (very!) Worried about their child’s enrollment in the “Prestige” school.
Surprisingly, the documentary suggests that the etymology of the word “prestige” is not “high class” as its modern connotations. But is similar to Christopher Nolan’s film with the above title, which means “illusion” or “magic trick”.
The singer is a former basketball coach who looks like a former basketball coach:
His haircut was bad, and he always wore a golf shirt and sweatpants. He had a character like Bobby Knight in the field, so he took a different approach.
They used his recruitment skills to become an independent college advisor. Someone with a large bank account pays hundreds of dollars per hour.
To help their teen study the SAT or ACT and design their college application. At some point along the way, he turned this into his well-known program. It bribed and billed parents $ 75,000 for fake supervisors to run tests on children. Increase its value thanks to a little cheating on this or that procedure or app.
From 2011 to 2019, when the FBI caught up with Singer:
He made $ 25 million in between Modin’s phone scenes with his parents on New Balance. The conversations based on footage from FBI wire tapping devices.
Smith interviews various journalists, lawyers, and recruitment experts, and a woman Singer meets on a dating site. One of them has stopped doing his side business.
A very handsome man named John Vandemoer, a former Stanford screen coach. The latter was involved in and financed the Singer conspiracy.
If you’ve read any news reports about these angry stories. You know that all kinds of rich people go to jail, but Singer isn’t. At least not yet – he’s still on trial, but he works. As an FBI informant and throws all his “clients” under the bus. Good boy.
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Our review of Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal:
Slick and fun, Operation Varsity Blues gives us the essence of the story without going too far into the weed. Smith’s decision to use FBI tapes was almost word-for-word (some had been shortened to the first title cards for clarity).
Modine’s dialogue was a great way to get Singer’s voice into a film. Without seeing the audio through still images to give up on so many documentaries. As for the restorations, many of them are much stronger and usually exclude anyone with Modine’s insights. This simplified representation of the story works well.
We get the nitty-gritty and some of what you have, although we might want more in the end. Smith discusses the basics, discusses the broader implications of the scandal. It shares frustration with the potentially corrupt justice system and higher education process.
In the talking chapter, the entire tailcoat changes nothing in the way the university works. The effect is more on schadenfreude the average person laughs. At the rich who try to buy a place in school applauding. Oh, and at the expense of someone who deserves it, there arises anger today.
But the story, as Smith puts it, feels incomplete.
Its closure was only torn apart by a scandal two years ago. Which likely severely limited the involvement of those directly involved in Singer’s scheme. We get some nuance of who Singer is as a person. A workaholic gets up at 4 a.m. to work out every day – but he feels incomplete as a character.
There appears to be a sociopathic inclination; Maybe he can’t be recognized. Here are two other important stories that may be valuable for their films. The first is how these scandals have further damaged the situation at American universities.
They are plagued by sports and ethics scandals, and often burden students with crippling debts. Going to college is not as proud as it was before. (This film shows how the highly advertised school rankings are based not on academic factors but subjective “prestige” factors; this is nothing more than a reflection.)
Second, the impact of the scandal on the affected families.
Parents sat down to avoid telling their children about their bad relationship. But how did it ruin the relationship after they broke up? Feelings of trust?
Do children know that these test results are not theirs? The idea that parents prioritize their status over the best interests of their children? In a world where McDonald’s lottery scams have six episodes, Operation Varsity Blues takes two or three episodes.
Operation Varsity Blues isn’t final at all. But it’s a solid journalistic document that raises some serious issues and is good enough to watch.