The Creative Process of a Paralyzed Screenwriter

A short documentary shows how Scott Lew, who has ALS, writes feature films.

More

It takes screenwriter Scott Lew—and a team of helpers—four hours to get from his bed to a computer where he can work. Lew has ALS, a degenerative disease that causes gradual loss of movement, and he can currently control only a few facial and eye muscles. He depends on infrared technology and an assistant to put his words to paper.

Director Chetin Chabuk followed Lew through the painstaking routine as he wrote the script for 2013’s Sexy Evil Genius, starring Seth Green and Michelle Trachtenberg. Chabuk’s documentary, Jujitsu-ing Reality, shows Lew’s determination to continue writing (and joking) through his illness.

“As you can imagine,” Chabuk wrote, “communicating with Scott takes time. He has a variety of ways of getting his words out, sometimes one letter at a time … I was really struck by how active his imagination ran and how much he had to say—and thus—how challenging it is for him in his condition to maintain his voice in the world.”

Jujitsu-ing Reality has been shortlisted for an Oscar this year. For more, visit http://jujitsuingreality.com/.

Jump to comments

Katherine Wells is an associate video producer at The Atlantic. More

Wells was formerly a producer of WNYC's Freakonomics Radio and NPR's Science Friday.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In