Adam Morse on his journey to directing

Since losing his sight at the age of 19, the filmmaker has gone on to write and direct his first feature film, shoot a Super Bowl ad for Google, and set up a non-profit to help the next generation of disabled creative talent

Adam Morse pretty much always wanted to work in filmmaking. Growing up in London, he spent much of his early childhood performing, and shot his first film aged 12 with the help of a webcam and Windows Movie Maker. “That gave me my first sense of what it was like to translate something from my imagination onto a screen,” he tells CR. By the age of 19 though, he was forced to reconsider his career ambitions entirely when he was diagnosed with an incurable mitochondrial disease called Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).

“I reassessed everything: not just my career path but my general expectations for living life and trying to survive as a human being in the world,” he says. As his eyesight rapidly deteriorated to the point where only his peripheral vision remained, what was even more perplexing about his situation was the fact that his younger brother Jake was diagnosed with the same disease at the exact same time. An extremely rare phenomenon even among twins, let alone siblings three years apart in age, according to the doctors treating them.

“A seed was planted in my mind wondering, why has this happened to me and my brother at the same time – is it coincidental? Could be, but that never really fit in with my spiritual belief system,” says Morse. “Maybe this happened to bring me and my brother closer together, which it did, and to challenge me, which it did. Just because you haven’t got a reference point of somebody else living with blindness out there in Hollywood directing movies, or getting recognised as an actor, I thought maybe this is my chance to be the first.”

Top: Javier in Frame commercial for Google; Above: Director Adam Morse on set