B-Reel creates launch film for Dr Barrett Rollins memoir


To mark the launch of renowned oncologist and Harvard professor, Dr. Barrett Rollins’ moving memoir about his wife Dr. Jane Weeks’ cancer (Post Hill Press), global creative agency B-Reel has worked with client, New York literary development house BMM Worldwide, to produce a moving digital campaign, consisting of a short film, a trailer, website, and supporting content for social platforms.

Dr Barrett Rollins

In Sickness tells how Dr. Weeks – herself also one of the country’s leading cancer specialists – first hid her cancer from her husband for six years, before then demanding they never talk of it.

This left them both pretending to family and friends, colleagues at the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and each other, that nothing was wrong until Jane collapsed and soon died. 

Dr. Rollins’ anger and guilt at his complicity in not seeking treatment for his wife permeates this extraordinary memoir.

To bring the author’s raw and emotionally charged inner turmoil to life, B-Reel has created a two minute film in which we see Dr. Rollins debating with himself about what he did, and crucially, what he didn’t do – once he learnt of her secret.

The launch film (above) can also be viewed on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the In Sickness website: www.barrettrollins.com.

Directed by Jamie-James Medina, the film sees Dr Rollins going over the thoughts and reasoning, the past conversations with his wife and other people that still painfully sit in his mind. 

Focusing on his seated frame, filmed in black and white with little else to focus on but the emotional words of grief in a stark telling of a story of love and loss.

Pieter Konickx of B-Reel says of the campaign, “We have worked to recreate the author’s painful inner turmoil about the decisions he had to make about his wife’s cancer. 

“In the end, the film reveals a conversation with Dr Rollins’ harshest critic – himself. It’s been an honour to work on a memoir that will sadly be familiar to so many families of people with cancer, but will also provide some comfort.”

Suzanne Balaban of BMM Worldwide said, “by producing a compelling film about Barrett Rollins’ unique memoir, B-Reel played an important role in ushering book publicity into the 21st century.  

“The economic realities of legacy publishing have opened the door for firms like BMM Worldwide and B-Reel to revolutionise the way we learn about important new books.

Dr. Rollins said: “It’s been extraordinary to see the book depicted in this way. The film captures the emotional power of the story and I hope it will encourage readers to consider our experience of hiding and denying cancer.”