Orlando Filmmaker Shoots Tinnitus PSA
By Douglas Lorah
Jose Cassella, an Orlando filmmaker, suffers from a condition called Tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears due to loud noise. According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), it's a problem that affects more than 50 million Americans and a fast growing number of young people.
Cassella says, "It's not going to kill you, but unfortunately, what a lot of people don't know is that [many] people are suicidal because of this. You've got people that can live with it like me, but there are other people who can stand next to a jet engine and still hear [the noises]. So imagine living with that."
That's why the filmmaker shot a badly needed public service video about the condition, which he is marketing to MTV, VH1, BET and others. He is also planning to do another PSA featuring top music stars.
In the public service announcement, the filmmaker cuts between 12 young men and women, all of whom suffer from condition, who describe what it's like to have tinnitus and warn others to protect their ears. Cassella received 1763 responses from local people with tinnitus that wanted to be in the video.
Cassella was both director and cinematographer for the 59-second video, and the piece was edited by film student editor Akira Otaguro. Many other local film students worked as the production crew. "Amazingly talented students collaborated with me on the shoot, in every kind of position - gaffers, key grips, lighting, everything," said Cassella.
To check out this PSA, please visit: http://groups.myspace.com/Tinnitusfreeworld
For more information on tinnitus, go to www.ata.org.
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