Drawing Thin

The story of Howard Chandler, a Holocaust survivor.




A Documentary

Drawing Thin is a documentary film that tells the story of Howard Chandler, a Holocaust survivor. Howard’s story begins in the town of Wierzbnik, Poland, where he grew up a regular Jewish boy. Howard’s regular life abruptly came to an end with the invasion of Nazi Germany in 1942. In the years following, Howard’s life took a series of twists and turns that would leave his fate in the hands of the Nazis.

Howard tells his story as it happened from his perspective, detailing his experiences in the Jewish ghetto and in a labour camp, and surviving two different concentration camps, all before the age of 16. He reflects on the murders of his mother, father, sister, and younger brother, and on finding his older brother alive near the end of the war.

Drawing Thin is a story of loss and luck, as well as hope in the face of the greatest adversity.

This film will be aired on UNC Charlotte TV, a noncommercial, public access educational station in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also qualified as a semifinalist in the 2018 Adobe Design Achievement Awards.


Narrative Structure

Howard shared his story in roughly two hours and from that it was condensed into a fifteen minute film without compromising the integrity of his story in terms of context and personal experience.



Theme & Impact

The documentary relies on the themes of luck and will to survive. The theme of luck is highlighted throughout the film with interspersed footage of a card game. Overall, the documentary deals with difficult subject matter and  thus has a high emotional impact. The card game footage, in addition to providing a visual for the theme of luck, helps to relieve emotional pressure by slightly removing viewers from the story.



Production took place over the course of a single day in two locations with professional lighting, film and sound equipment. The interview was shot at Howard's daughter's house in Toronto, Ontario and the card game was filmed at Howard's friends condo building in the games room. Howard and his friends, some of which are also Holocaust survivors, meet there weekly for a friendly game of poker.  



The footage was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro. The Lumetri Color Correction effect was used throughout and the SL Retro Brown filter was applied at 70% to the entire documentary to create cohesion between the interview clips and card game clips. The audio was edited in Adobe Audition for noise reduction and was further refined using the pen tool in Premiere. The image below is a snapshot of the film timeline in Premiere Pro. 

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Visual Narrative, Storytelling, Film Production, Video and Sound Editing



Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro



Yael Hubert