Altered States is a series of trailers that promote the online article written by neurologist and author Oliver Sacks for The New Yorker magazine. Written in the form of a personal narrative that is also backed by scientific facts, the article reflects on Sacks’ sensory experiences resulting from the five drug experiments that he performed on himself. Inspired by his approach to medical literature that translates the information-heavy nature of scientific case studies into concise, vivid stories, this project uses visual storytelling to promote the poetic quality of his writing.
The interpretation from words to visuals is achieved through Sacks’ descriptions of his expe- riences as catalysts that trigger visual and audial cues. In order to depict his unpredictable and heightened sensory reactions, I created imagery that magnifies the overlooked aspects of ordinary objects and portrayed them in unexpected sequences. Then, by animating this footage to sounds and fragments of text from the article, these elements ultimately come together to recreate previews into his drug-stimulated experience in an ambiguous and non-literal way. This is so that viewers can still visualize the article based on their own imaginations and interpretations, but most importantly prompt them to be curious about the content and read the article.