Children’s National is home to some of the world’s leading pediatric cancer experts and they wanted to tell the incredible story of a former patient, Jawein Hsu, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) when he was only 11 years old. “The Lucky One” is a short documentary about Jaiwen’s journey told through the eyes of Jaiwen, his family, and the doctors who helped him defeat this disease. “The Lucky One” is a story of a family’s love, the power of hope and Children’s National incredible devotion to children with cancer.
"Cancer used to be something that only happened to other people and all of the sudden we had become the other people."Jeng Hsu
When I was asked to direct this project, I knew a story about a child with cancer would be an emotional one. The project began by meeting Jaiwen and the Hsu family. After talking with them and hearing their touching story, it was clear that we had to make the viewer feel a piece of what this family felt when going through this ordeal. We decided that interviews would be conducted right into the lens of the camera. This is not easy to accomplish since most people are not accustomed to talking to a camera. We knew speaking into the camera was necessary so that the audience felt that they were being addressed and told the story directly. It has a profound effect when a person looks directly at you and in this instance helps create a sincere tone in the documentary. Photos and b-roll of Jaiwen’s school and bedroom also help provide a candid view of the family and invites the viewer into the story. Licensed music and slow-motion photography assisted with providing the correct mood, but it was really Jeng Hsu, Jaiwen’s mother who told the story from her heart that created the connection to the audience.