A couple of years ago I did a course on Visual Story Telling organized by the PRBB intervals program. In this course Eric May taught us during 8 hours the most important tips for explaining complex things visually. Then, it was our turn to do a short movie to test our abilities and what we had learned. First I though I would try to do a short movie to explain our research project IntOGen. However, on a second thought, I had an idea for another movie that I believed was interesting.
Many researchers, including ourselves, have worked during years in trying to decipher the DNA code. A particularly big effort dedicated to this question is the ENCODE project. What do all these letters mean? What do they encode? Many advances have been made in recent years. However, there are still many parts of the genome that we do not understand. What would happen if someone with a bright mind, and not biased by all the knowledge we have, would look at the DNA sequence with a fresh look and from a completely different perspective? Would this person see a completely unexpected hidden code that we are not even capable to imagine?. I thought that this crazy and unreal idea was nice and poetic to make a short movie out of it.
I talked to a friend of mine who is a brilliant photographer, Isabel Casanova, and I managed to convince her to team up in the endeavor. So, we started preparing the script, searching for friends who could act, and quickly started shooting the first scenes at the PRBB. We only managed to do the first half of the movie before the deadline set by the course, but we intended to finish the story someday. Both Isabel and I are very busy with our daily work, and it was not easy to find the time to dedicate to the project. Eventually, nevertheless, we did, and we have finished the movie recently.
Our movie has no other intention than to be pretty, poetic and explain a curious, unreal and –I think– beautiful story. We had fun making it, I did learn a lot in the process, and I am proud of the result (the movie was even selected as a finalist in a short film contest called BiomediCine). This is why I have decided to upload it to our YouTube channel and link to it from our lab web page (http://bg.upf.edu/catgmusic).
I hope you like it!
A video animation explains IntOGen in 60 seconds. Although I didn’t do the IntOGen movie for the Visual Story Telling course, later on a group of students participating in an animation course did a short movie about IntOGen for us.