The Quest Center for Integrative Health was founded for and by LGBTQIA2S+ folx during the aids epidemic because they were were severely underserved. Today Quest is a health center serving all kinds of folx. Quest came to us to produce a story about their FSR (Finding and Sustaining Recovery) program, an integrated behavioral health treatment program designed to help people build sober and healthy lifestyles. The story we produced highlights David, a musician and student whose battle with addiction took him down a path where he was living a double life for decades until he found Quest. This video doubles as a promotional video for Quest’s website and a fundraising video for their annual gala.
We knew we wanted to carefully craft David’s story before sitting down to interview him so we went through an extensive storyfinding phase of pre-production. First, we did a casual pre-interview with David via zoom. He was full of stories and has lived a very interesting life so it was even more essential for us to do everything we could to figure out which stories we would incorporate. From there, we created a story outline which informed the questions we would focus on during his interview. There were a lot of pieces of his life story we had to cut, and this process helped us trim where we needed to trim. We’re still sad we had to cut out the part where he talks about conducting music internationally in Germany and beyond!
We then made a creative treatment for the visuals we would be using during the part of David’s story which revolved around drug and sex addiction. We wanted to convey the emotion of this dark period through our cinematography. We didn’t want to be heavy handed but we knew we wanted it to be haunting yet poetic. Knowing that David was a musician, we decided to use the imagery of piano playing and music conducting to showcase the feeling of spiraling out of control due to addiction. We played with removing the lens off of the camera body to capture beautiful yet distorted shots. Looking back on our notes from our pre-interview with David, we noted that he mentioned the concept of living a double life often so we ended up playing with that idea visually by creating stark shadows of David’s face and body while he is feverishly playing music.
Our client loved this video and was excited to see a new take on a non-profit video. They hired us again shortly after to produce a documentary about another one of their programs. For more information, go to @questcenter_integrativehealth or quest-center.org