Catalytic Cinema

A teenage boy fights for his life at the NIH


Trial of One follows Darious Gallegos who was only 12 when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. After years of treatment, including multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Darious was still battling the disease—and the best treatment option led to a clinical trial using CAR T-cell therapy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Linus production team met Darious and his father, Dustin, in February 2016, a week after the family arrived at the NIH to begin a clinical trial investigating the use of CAR T-cells to fight Lymphoma.

“When you’ve exhausted most if not all of your standard options what do you do? The most promising agent is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells.”
— Dr. Daniel W. Lee, Principal Investigator, CAR T-Cell Clinical Trial, NIH

Along the way the film crew not only captured the science, but the human toll of the disease on the lives and the relationship between father and son. Darious sought refuge in video games where he wasn’t seen as sick and his cancer didn’t exist. In order to relate the technical biological process of fighting the disease to Darious’ love of video games, the film features a 3D animation video-game motif depicting the T-cells destroying the cancer.

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A year and a half after launching production, the FDA approved the first CAR T-cell therapy for treating cancer. It is patients like Darious, who participate in clinical trials that make historic breakthroughs in healthcare like this one possible.


 Joanna Rudnick  Executive Creative Director &  Trial of One  Director

Joanna Rudnick

Executive Creative Director & Trial of One Director

 Erika Brekke  Senior Producer &  Trial of One  Producer

Erika Brekke

Senior Producer & Trial of One Producer

 Patrick Zimmerman  Senior Motion Designer &  Trial of One  Motion Director

Patrick Zimmerman

Senior Motion Designer & Trial of One Motion Director


Catalytic Cinema™ brings science, health, and humanity together on film. Each film results in an elevation of the brand, messaging and an intimacy with a core audience.

Behind the Scenes of Catalytic Cinema 


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