Hundreds of thousands of patients die each year due to a lack of access to their medical records. Most doctors have no way of seeing a new patient’s full history, which leads to preventable and often-lethal mistakes. In 2014, executive producer Kevin Johnson approached Stonecastle Pictures to direct and produce a feature documentary exploring why – in our hyper-connected world – hospitals still resist sharing patient information with each other.
The fight to free our medical records
Our search for the story
Stonecastle Pictures spent more than a year traveling the United States to understand why most healthcare providers resist linking their electronic medical record systems. Our job was to find the story behind this complicated issue – the hook that would make people care. As always, we found it in the lives of real people propelled by deeply personal motivations.
Animating the ideas
One of our biggest challenges was finding a way to illustrate the many complex, non-visual ideas in the film. One solution was to create animated characters in the likeliness of our interview subjects. This gave us freedom to place the animated version of our subjects in illustrative environments as their lips moved to their actual interview. It’s a little trippy, but it definitely helped illustrate a point. Here’s a scene with one of our main characters, George. It starts to get weird at :30.
Revisiting Hurricane Katrina
Our reporting led us to New Orleans, where nine years earlier Hurricane Katrina crippled the city’s healthcare system. Dependent mostly on paper medical records, physicians watched helplessly as the storm destroyed hundreds of thousands of their patients’ files. This scene revisits the Superdome as healthcare providers realized the scope of their loss.
About the partnership
Stonecastle Pictures provided directing, research, and production support to executive producer Kevin Johnson, who secured funding for the documentary through state and federal grants. Our collaboration led to a fascinating story about the business of healthcare that makes you wonder at times if the patient’s best interests are even a factor at all.
“No Matter Where” was an Official Selection at the Nashville Film Festival, and also screened at the HIMSS medical conference and AMIA Fall Symposium.
"Stonecastle was an outstanding creative partner that made filming this documentary a really enjoyable experience. They took care of everything I asked them to do, including working with me on creative ideas and collaborating with me on production and post planning and execution. I’m extremely proud of the final product and would recommend them to anyone."