Documentary filmmaker Vicky Bippart ’81’s latest project is AboutFace. The government site features interviews with veterans telling their story of suffering from, and healing from PTSD, and is receiving praise for its effectiveness.
“Whether interviewing a rock star like Elton John after a concert or during her most recent challenge talking with American Veterans, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Vicky Bippart knows how to get to the real story.…
“For the past two years, Vicky has been working on an educational campaign advocating treatment for Veterans with PTSD, specifically through the creation of a website called AboutFace which is just now being officially launched. This interactive website serves as a forum for Veterans and their families who suffer from effects of PTSD after returning from war and who have not yet sought treatment. ‘We want them to come to the site and hear from the Veterans who have been there and gotten themselves into treatment. These men and women are living proof that it is possible to get your life back.
“When you take a look at the website, you are met on the homepage by the faces of nine veterans who are poised and waiting to talk to you. By moving the cursor over any of seven given questions and then to the face of a Veteran, the user chooses the topic that he relates to, or may relate to his situation, and has a sense of control over what information she is taking in. ‘It’s a lot. There are 41 Veterans spanning 60 years of military experience. The site has over 400 testimonials, presented in a simple format. Someone with PTSD is not having an easy time… so I wanted it to be as straightforward and welcoming as possible… not obviously complicated by technical somersaults. And I think it is just that.’
“One of Vicky’s roles in the compilation of this creative undertaking drew on one of the things she is best at—the interview. She and her small crew of tried-and-true work-mates from Boston’s Big House Productions made nine stops across the country. In each location, they set up shop in a rented B&B which provided a neutral backdrop where the Veterans could be comfortable sharing a difficult story. Vicky’s approach of understanding, laced with a little humor, helps them to do this. Instead of a traditional face-to-face interview, Vicky and the veteran are sitting right next to each other, talking into a mirror that is set up in front of the camera’s lens.”
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Image: Norwich Times/Karin Rothwell-Ferraris.
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- About Face – National Center for PTSD
- For Veterans, a Surge of New Treatments for Trauma
- Veterans with PTSD share their isolation – and successes – in frank videos