A recent television commercial is standing out among the others, not as much for the product that it’s advertising, but for the story it tells about a seven year old girl named Emily. Blind since birth, Emily’s imagination runs free when she experiences movies, including her favorite: the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz. How exactly does Emily watch a movie without seeing it?
“I think about the shape, I think about color. I also think about sound. I take it into my brain and I think about… ‘What would it look like to me?'”
Perhaps the experience is something like how one might listen to an audiobook, podcast, or radio show, or even what you might imagine when someone’s reading a book out loud… but without the same visual references, Emily’s land of Oz is unique to her alone.
Above, watch how a team of set designers, puppet makers, and filmmakers put together a collaborative version of Emily’s creative vision for what Oz and its beloved characters look like. Below, watch Emily’s Oz, the original commercial that aired on television, narrated by Robert Redford:
If you couldn’t see, what might your favorite movie or animal look like? Watch this next: Feeling, not seeing, an elephant.
Plus, Judy Garland sings Over the Rainbow for US troops (1943), and we recommend some of our favorite books: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the stories of L. Frank Baum.