“Diary of a Cyborg” is a feature documentary directed by Jaclyn Todd, and explores the lives of young patients with Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs). The film will follow Jaclyn’s own story, as an ICD recipient, as well as other young patients with the device. Interviews with experts in the medical community will supplement the personal narratives of these patients, all under the age of 25.
Three years ago, Jaclyn Todd began working on a seemingly straightforward thesis film for her Bachelor’s of Arts at the University of Chicago… She initially set out to craft an informative piece on a particular piece of technology that was extremely pertinent to her day-to-day life: the Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), a pacemaker-like device used in the treatment of various heart conditions, including Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome. Not only has Jaclyn been living with an ICD for over eight years now, but her sister has one as well – both a result of mysterious circumstances and family history. Whilst in the middle of shooting her thesis, the battery in Jaclyn’s device ran low, causing a whirlwind change of plans, a last-minute surgery, and, in the case of her documentary, a sudden shift to her personal story. What started as an expository piece quickly became more of an autobiography, as Jaclyn documented her own questions and reactions to her device and its role in her day-to-day life, as well as the process of undergoing the replacement surgery…
Several months later, Jaclyn recovered and was back to the grind, and had crafted her thesis into a powerful short film. Now, with the addition of patients interested in telling their stories, and further interest from the medical community, Jaclyn’s short film is ready to become a full, feature-length documentary!