Medical marvels
October 1, 2006

Medical marvels
Always keeping its fingers on the pulse of the industry, realscreen looks at a genre that’s got hearts racing: medical properties

It’s a plastic world
Remember the times when sleep was the solution to puffy eyes, and wearing black was as far as anybody would go to look slimmer? Yeah, neither do I. These days, many treat a trip to the plastic surgeon for a nip here and a snip there as nonchalantly as a stop at Starbucks. Produced by Toronto-based Breakthrough Films & Television, Face to Face is a 13 x 30-minute series that features plastic surgeon Dr. Mitchell Brown and his staff as they explain different cosmetic surgery procedures. Dr. Brown lays it all on the table (both literally and figuratively) by sharing insider information about the biz – things like what the real risks to surgery are and tales of bogus surgeons. In production with Life Network Canada and distributed by Breakthrough Entertainment, Face is seeking us and international pre-sales. With a budget of roughly CDN$1,950,000 (US$1,729,000), the series will wrap next spring.

Hope has a face
There’s no getting around it: watching docs where kids endure devastating circumstances is hard, but at least with one like Changing Faces (w/t), the time spent feeling the children’s agony is offset by the jubilant outcomes. The 90-minute film follows Martin Kelly and Norman Waterhouse, two cranial-facial surgeons that visited Kabul in 2002 on a mission to operate on people clinging to life in the war zone. They worked on several children there, and decided to help more back in the Western world by then starting a charity called Facing the World. Faces follows the extraordinary work the duo has done for the charity in three specific cases involving third world children with different degrees of facial deformity. The results are phenomenal, and viewers share in the children’s joy as they return home post-surgery. A Channel 4 commission for the UK, RDF Rights is the worldwide distributor on the £210,000 (US$397,000) film, which will be delivered this month.

See it, believe it
In case you’re wondering what someone whose face has been mauled off by a bear looks like (don’t we all?), your curiosity will be put to rest with LA-based LMNO Productions’ new 6 x 1-hour series Is That a Nail In Your Head? Distributed by LA-based Rive Gauche Television, the series is for TLC (US) and features unbelievable, but true, stories of medical science and procedures. We’re talking reattachment of limbs, amputation of no longer functioning body parts, a human ear grown on the back of a mouse – not your standard trip to the hospital to remove a pesky mole. Video, pictures and cgi will be used to lead viewers through the triumphant stories along with interviews with doctors, patients and their families. Nail is set to wrap in February, and has a budget of US$400,000 per hour.

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