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Figure 1

Storytelling to reach a wider audience

Pilot was commissioned to produce three videos to help reach a wider audience for Figure 1, an app that lets healthcare professionals share medical cases and learn from each other. The Figure 1 community had just reached 1 million users, which means that if you’re a doctor trying to identify a weird rash or an unfamiliar mass on a diagnostic image, you can now reach out to a huge pool of doctors, nurses, students and technicians for expertise.






When we set out to make three portraits of Figure 1 users, we knew we weren’t going to be flying to Australia, Peru or even Seattle. Instead, we had to forge Facetime friendships with faraway physicians. We also asked them to act as crew on their end of a film set, setting up laptops and phones to record image and sound. The sets included an ER office at 4 AM and a Lima highrise with a cat who couldn’t resist photobombing our shoot. Miau is the Spanish translation of meow, if you were wondering. The experience proved incredibly fun and intimate and weird.




But how do you turn Skype into short, shareable, salient stories? Four syllables. Animation. We asked our doctors and healthcare professionals for all the photographs and information they could provide and collaged our way to moving pictures that reflect the amazing power of our client’s app. Just as Figure 1 itself allows users to share life-saving knowledge across continents without ever coming face to face, our video process allowed us to meet amazing characters from all over the world without ever shaking anyone’s hand.




Internally, we taught ourselves to look at these powerful images without flinching. We learned to toss around the word intubate like it was a frisbee. But from a creative perspective, we wanted to make videos that would appeal to medical professionals while still being accessible to a general public that isn’t always comfortable looking at images of gangrenous limbs. So we used animation as a tool for rendering challenging visuals in a more universal way, for turning gory into story. We think it worked out pretty well, but have a look for yourself:


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