Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Film Studies

First Advisor

Kelly Sears

Second Advisor

Melinda Barlow

Third Advisor

Patricia McShane


In 2014, my Gramma passed away due to a stroke. After she had her stroke but before she died, she was very confused and discussed her experience with others. I originally intended to try to make a film about what life must have been like for her after her stroke, but, in the process, discovered my own story about what it is like to watch a family member lose the function of their brain. Inspired by Jeff Scher, Sarah Polley and Tom Shadyac these filmmakers helped define the aesthetic seen in my film, Who She Was When She Wasn’t. Through family film footage and rotoscope animation paired with my personal narration and a phone interview with my Gramma’s doctor, I create a film that expresses the feelings of mourning a loved one who’s brain changes before they pass away.