Macular disease awareness video aims to recreate its life affects

Charity launches awareness-raising video for Macular Week campaign to highlight the sight-loss disease that now affects more people than Alzheimer’s.

Chloe Green | 27th Jun 18
A still of a boy eating from the Macular Society's awareness-raising online video ‘5 Years from the Eyes of a Mum’ shows how visual effects are used to recreate the experience of people with macular disease. Dark blotches can impair the central vision.

The impact macular disease can have is highlighted in a new awareness-raising online video launched by charity the Macular Society during Macular Week that runs 25 June-01 July.

The dramatic video, created by campaign agency Don’t Panic and produced by digital studio Kode Media,  demonstrates the struggles facing people with macular disease, and the importance of eye health.

Called 5 Years from the Eyes of a Mum, it depicts an emotional portrayal of macular disease, highlighting the effect it has, not only on the individual, but also on the relationships with loved ones.

The production presents point-of-view (POV) vignettes from the perspective of a mother as she watches her son grow up, from the ages of 11 to 16. However, as the story unfolds, the mother’s vision becomes increasingly disrupted by blurs and blotches which grow from the centre of the screen.

This gradually affects the way she interacts with her son and their relationship as a whole. This use of POV is overlaid by immersive visual effects, which recreate the specific sight loss experienced by people with macular disease. This is a particular type of visual impairment, with dark blotches mainly affecting the central vision.

“We worked alongside those with macular disease to achieve as accurate a depiction of macular as possible, and highlight the potentially life-changing importance of having regular eye tests,” said Joe Wade, Managing Director at Don’t Panic. “We’re seeking to put people ‘in the shoes’ of someone suffering sight lost – to not only enable people to empathise, but also to make audiences take action during Macular Week.”

“Macular disease is the largest cause of sight loss in the UK, and its effects are set to double by 2050, yet public awareness of it is low,” said Cathy Yelf, Chief Executive at the Macular Society. “People describe losing their sight as being similar to a bereavement and we have seen first hand the impact it can have on their lives. More people are affected by macular disease than they are by Alzheimer’s, and yet as I say, public awareness remains low. With one-in-three people now knowing someone with macular disease we want to continue to raise awareness so we can keep funding vital research, which will one day lead us to a cure.”

5 Years from the Eyes of a Mum can be viewed on YouTube – https://youtu.be/JfGlf_jlWeI
– and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/macularsociety/videos/1844948115563163/