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Artist Lydia Emily paints with her daughter’s shoelace wrapped around her hand. When her hands aren’t working, the shoelace helps secure a paintbrush so she can continue painting. Photo by Adam Della

Behind the video: We Believe

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Explore the creation of the Society’s newest “We Believe” video.


Imagine a large nondescript industrial space in Los Angeles suddenly come to life: Crews building bedroom, bathroom and dining room sets, hauling in camera equipment, setting up lighting. All preparing to film scenes of 14 people from all walks of life with one thing in common: they all live with MS.

“When I read the first draft of the script, I immediately imagined a powerful piece where people with MS would deliver the statements to really emphasize the point that ‘We are a movement by and for people with MS’,” says Mark Serratoni, the Society’s creative director. “I really wanted everyone to see themselves in this video no matter who they are, so we assembled a large cast of people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds and stages of MS.”

Tom Teller, the director of Frame 48, the production company that shot the “We Believe” video, has a personal stake in the project. He’s the grandson of Don Tykeson, who pioneered the Tykeson MS Fellows Conference. The Tykeson MS Fellows Conference is a forum which brings research and clinical trainees of the National MS Society, MS International Federation and MS Society of Canada together with senior scientists to share ideas and commit to keeping MS research at the forefront of their careers. Because of Tom’s relationship with his grandfather and the MS movement, he brings a unique passion and creativity to this video.

“We wanted the hope of our movement to be symbolized by the use of beautiful light and through the music, which carried a swagger,” Serratoni says. “What makes this video different from some of the others we have done in the past is that it feels really energetic and enthusiastic, and we hope it inspires people to join our movement.”

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Download the “We Believe” pledge in PDF format.

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