Our one-year company anniversary came and went in a flurry of new projects this September, leaving us little time to reflect on our first year telling stories as Storied Studios. Until now.
Looking back on our work, the one word that consistently comes to mind is possibility. From the patient drivers we profiled in the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s “Rare as One” project to Julia Vitarello’s fight to bring the first-ever, FDA-approved, individual therapy to her daughter Mila, we have witnessed patients and families turning the impossible into possible. Our year finished strong on this theme with an animated film featuring Emily Kramer-Golinkoff of Emily’s Entourage, who is fighting not only to save her own life, but to change the way medical research and drug development happen in rare disease.
On the other side of our creative brain. we launched and finished a successful kickstarter campaign for our first, independent, documentary feature Story & Pictures By about the innumerable possibilities that happen inside of children when they encounter children’s picture books. Following three of the most dynamic author/illustrators working today – Mac Barnett, Christian Robinson, and Yuyi Morales – Story & Pictures By tells the story of the second “Golden Age” of children’s picture books, where no subject is off limits and children’s stories, characters, and creators are more diverse than ever before. As Mac Barnett says, “If it is happening in the world, it belongs in a picture book.”
When we think of what is possible as creators, we always want to push ourselves and our audiences to new understandings. We want to move people to emotion and to action. And we know that time and again the best way to truly educate, inform, and motivate is through powerful, skillful, and honest storytelling. This wouldn’t be possible without access, trust, and collaboration. For that, we want to thank all of the incredible people who let us into their lives with cameras this year. We never take that for granted.
We also want to thank our collaborators for pushing our visions into realities. This year brought unforgettable collaborations in illustration, animation, sound design, and musical score. One of the most original combinations of art + science was our collaboration with renowned-paper artist Yulia Brodskaya to create paper art portraits of three breast cancer survivors in a story about individualizing treatment for breast cancer.
Here’s to continued possibilities and new collaborations in 2020!
Love, Joanna and the Storied Studios team