For 53 years, John Kapellas enjoyed the bright sky of the western US but one day he started to burn, blister and break out in rashes whenever he was exposed to light. Now allergic to the entire spectrum of light, Kapellas has spent the last decade living in complete darkness. When one of the side effects of the drugs John was prescribed made him ‘go nuts,’ he started drawing gigantic abstract pictures on his wall and playing the piano to calm his mind and soothe his pain. How to Make a Pearl explores Kapellas’ coping mechanisms and how he is turning the ‘grit’ of past trauma into a ‘pearl’ of reflective creativity.
Director, producer and editor: Jason Hanasik Executive Produce: Minette Nelson Executive producers for the Guardian: Charlie Phillips and Lindsay Poulton