My friends have a daughter who suffers from a life-threatening medical condition known as Methylmalonic Acidemia (MMA). Unfortunately, when I searched online for an explainer video, the best I found was an interview with Dr. Jerry Vockley of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Although Vockley explains the condition succinctly (my script borrows heavily from him), I thought the world needed something more child-friendly and visually-compelling. Thus, I decided to create an animated explainer video, pro bono, for Angels For Alyssa, a non-profit raising money to find a cure. But, the challenge was to explain MMA in a non-complicated, visually-compelling way.
I discovered a BBC News article about a (now-deceased) girl, named Lara, who was born with MMA. Lara’s mother explains her daughter’s condition this way: She Is Poisoned By Her Own Food. Thus, I conceived of a visual metaphor—a human body processing protein, yet filling up with poison.
THE ART DIRECTION
Given that many children are affected by this condition, I wanted to go for a child-friendly feel. Having young children of my own, I noticed their toys and accessories are decorated with bright colors and patterns, thus I incorporated those same characteristics. However, I chose a slab-serif typeface, called Museo Slab, because I wanted to convey a tone of seriousness, due to the deadliness of MMA.