They have superb researchers and their policy analysis and recommendations are rigorously considered and cutting edge. My role is to create vignettes featuring the people whose poignant stories reflect the desperate and overdue need for the kinds of reform the CommonWealth Fund develops and advocates.
The CommonWealth Fund sought to raise awareness of a critical problem in U.S. healthcare, namely, structural impediments to optimal and cost-effective care for patients with chronic health conditions.
Patients with complex and constant medical needs are often in vulnerable situations. Their struggles with poverty and the absence of consistent support from family often exacerbate their health issues, which also increases the cost of their care over time.
Furthermore, the complexity of their health care issues often requires the work of medical professionals from different organizations, which leads to inefficiencies, problems arising from lack of clear communication and coordination.
The overall goal of the CommonWealth Fund was to identify and elaborate on opportunities to improve health care outcomes with this patient population.
The videos I produced in support of this goal were intended to humanize the facts and figures. These courageous patients came forward to share their stories. My role was to make them feel confident and comfortable sharing intimate details of their lives and health care situations that dovetailed with the CommonWealth Fund’s thesis.
I aimed for a relaxed, natural aesthetic, professional but not fussy. And I spoke with the subjects at length leading up to our interviews, which I approached in a conversational style.
All of my work for the CommonWealth Fund has a gravity to it. I love the challenge of working with subjects unaccustomed to being on camera, whose willingness to be recorded emanates from a sense of mission about leveraging their stories and struggles to make it easier for those who may find themselves experiencing similar difficulties in the future.
The CommonWealth Fund sent me to rural Illinois to meet with and interview people who had participated in a study focused on problems that arise from suddenly losing health insurance coverage.
These were deeply personal stories that recount harrowing moments in their lives. Any time I am interviewing somebody about such private and emotional stories, I let the camera roll and sit down with them for a conversation. When they see me listening and respecting the seriousness of what they’re sharing, it’s easier for them to share. I advocated for producing the videos in black and white to match the intimacy of these stories.
The CommonWealth Fund asked me to help produce its centerpiece Centennial video, celebrating this milestone while projecting the organization’s commitment to its mission going forward.
The principal challenge of producing this video: I would be co-interviewing ten members of its Board of Trustees in a two day span using a single room.
Time was at a premium, but I was determined to create different backdrops between each interview so that transitions between the subjects would feel more dynamic. Loud construction work on Fifth Avenue was kept out of the recording mix by using highly directional microphones.
My collaborators at the CommonWealth Fund were thrilled with the result, which pulled together voiceovers and photographic references to noteworthy highlights and accomplishments with interviews to present the CommonWealth Fund as primed to take on the challenges of the next century.