Giving Voice to Emotion

Brian Storm, founder of film production and interactive design studio MediaStorm, has worked with hundreds of still photographers to bring their stories to life, often through their own words. Three questions to Brian about his experience working with Maggie Steber, Phil Toledano, Julie Winokur about their projects that documented their parents with dementia:


These three multimedia examples capture the photographers' voice so well on a sensitive topic. In some cases, it almost feels theraputic for both the audience and the photographer. How do you approach the interview process?

Brian Storm: The reporting for The Sandwich Generation was handled by Ed and Julie. They did all the interviews and shooting and my role was really to help hone the story in post. Maggie and Phil were very different projects that took many years to complete. Both interviews were, as you can imagine, incredibly emotional experiences for everyone involved. We spent a full day in the studio for the actual interview and then many months in post to complete the films.

These are obviously very emotional stories for these visual artists as they followed their parents decline into dementia. How do you help them?

Brian Storm: I think anytime someone really listens to you that is a helpful experience. Listening is most important skill that a storyteller should posses and certainly is a central element of a successful interview.

Multimedia is a very immersive platform. What makes it most effective?

Brian Storm: A great story is the key. All of these storytellers — Ed, Julie, Phil and Maggie — are world class storytellers. They are also great human beings. The fact that they opened up and shared their vulnerable selves with us is humbling. It is what we ask of our subjects all the time and I think it was a powerful experience for each of them to be on the other side of the camera. 



Rite of Passage

By Maggie Steber

Maggie Steber was an only child. Madje Steber was a single parent. They were all the family they had and it wasn't easy. See the project at


A Shadow Remains

By Phillip Toledano

Phillip Toledano’s life is marked by the passing of family. Each death diverting the river slightly. “You see yourself clearly when your parents die. You’re silhouetted on the hilltop, whatever that means.” See the project at


The Sandwich Generation

By Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi

Millions of middle-aged Americans are caring for their children as well as their aging parents. When filmmaker-photographer pair Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi took in Winokur's 83-year-old father, they decided to document their own story. See the project at