For David Bolinsky – the co-creator, with his talented team, of the highly-acclaimed computer animated science film, The Inner Life of a Cell – the plunge into the wonders of medical animation began at age four when he went to see the movie Fantasia.
From that moment, he was hooked.
“That did it for me,” says David. “From that minute on I wanted to be an animator.” Now a widely-known medical illustrator and animator, David has devoted his career, and his artistic gift, to displaying complex medical concepts in a fresh, clear light.
The son of a sculptor and art history professor, David completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Illustration, followed by two years of medical school before joining Yale University’s School of Medicine where he became senior medical illustrator.
He then ventured out on his own to begin his own company, Advanced Imaging, a first-of-its-kind digital medical animation firm. And in 2001, he co-founded his current enterprise, XVIVO Scientific Animation, where he serves as medical director. At XVIVO, he and his team work to depict and demonstrate complex concepts in medicine and science through lucid, cinematically aesthetic and compelling films – such as The Inner Life of the Cell, an 8.5 minute animated gem that takes a fascinating journey inside the workings of a white blood cell.
Harvard University commissioned The Inner Life of a Cell as part of the university’s Bio Visions at Harvard initiative to help explain cellular processes to undergraduate students in Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
David and his colleagues entered The Inner Life of a Cell in Siggraph’s well-known computer animation competition. That’s when the “buzz” about the film really began, generating interest from news media, educators – even Hollywood, recalls David.
“We started receiving tens of thousands of e-mails and phone calls, the hits on our website went from 200 a week to hundreds of thousands a week, for a while, and it was picked up by ABC News,” he says. “We were getting contacted by major universities all over the world asking if they could use the film for their students (and) calls from high school teachers wanting it for advanced biology classes … and museums that wanted us to work on museum exhibits because they wanted to modernize how they teach science.”
Read more about David here.
What about the human cell fascinates you? If you could animate one function within the cell what would it be?