Monthly Archives: February 2017

Developing the story

As I mentioned in the previous post, our aim was to emphasize how a commonly seen negative experience, as physical or mental disease, can turn later on in a widened perception of a person’s reality.

To start, we broke down the story to find where its core was, and we tought of finding a way to separate the bad experience from the visions. A possible solution was to show this with the rythm of the story; starting by giving more time to the normal perception to describe character and location, increasing gradually the distortions lenght to show the alienation taking over.

Here a few notes we wrote to pin down the process:

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Regarding the left emisphere’s stroke symptoms, we did some research, other than referring to those described in Dr.Taylor’s talk,  and saw that they often occur in this order:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty in moving body parts
  • Inability to read or recognize simbols (as one apparently completely forgets them)
  • Limbs paralysis
  • Inability to speak or understand language

So we inserted all of them in the story, more or less in that order, alternating those with several hallucinations, due to the right brain’s activity taking over,and relating the visions to the occurring symptom.

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Finding an idea

Since of a good mutual understanding with my classmate Jiani Zhao we were thinking for quite a long time to cooperate on the final project, so at last we started working together.

It took a few weeks of research and brainstorming to find an idea that both of us would agree on. We found that when we watched a Ted talk, Jiani had seen long ago, My Stroke of insight, who gave us the right inspiration to start thinking of an animated transposition.


The talk tells the story of the brain scientist, Dr. Jill bBolte Taylor, waking up one morning, with an emorragic stroke in her left brain’s emisphere.

We tried to contact Dr. Taylor’s attourney and enquire on the possibilty to create a short film inspired to her experience, and we discovered that she had sold the right’s of the book, My Stroke of insight, to a Film production company. We contacted them as well, but unfortunately, after an initial encouraging response, they decided to disappear, leaving us with no answer.

This would of course not stop us from taking the positive message contained in the talk and putting a different character in a similar situation, to be able to tell the story we wanted to tell anyways.

More than focusing on the traumatic experience of the stroke, we found the relation between struggling on a physical problem and the new perception one can gain, in a certain way, thanks to the suffering, very interesting, so we started thinking in that direction.