Howard Miller, president of a Newton-based broadcast production company, VideoLink, said he was intrigued by the request when it was passed along to him by the Make-A-Wish group.
“We thought, ‘What young person would even consider doing a documentary on their own illness?’ And when we saw how excited she was to do this, we were glad to help in any way we could,’’ he recalled.
Make-A-Wish program manager Lauren Cotter said, “It was a very unique wish – the first of its kind for our chapter.’’
VideoLink donated all of the resources – time in its studio, cameras, staff, lighting, audio and video editing – necessary to make her wish a reality.
Kats knew exactly what she wanted, “a ‘60 Minutes’-type documentary,’’ and was “very much involved’’ from the start of the project, said Miller.
Production was delayed initially for about two years because Kats was too sick to start the filmmaking. After recuperating, Kats wrote the majority of the documentary’s script and narrated the entire film. She picked and interviewed the movie’s supporting cast of doctors, nurses, and other patients.
Her 23-minute film, “Define Normal,’’ made its premiere at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline last fall.
In May, it was recognized as a red-carpet success.
“Define Normal’’ won three bronze awards, for copywriting, editing, and charitable/nonprofit in the film/video category at the 30th annual Telly Awards.
The awards honor “the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions and work created for the Web,’’ according to the event’s website. The 30th annual Telly competition received nearly 11,000 entries.
These were the first Telly Awards for VideoLink, which hosted a celebration of the shared achievement last month.
“The final result went above and beyond anything we had hoped for,’’ said Miller. “Our main goal was to grant her wish and make a successful film in her eyes.’’