Neurological Institute / A BRILLIANT NIGHT

360° dome film created for the Montreal Neurological Institute having screened at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montréal.



The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital is a world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care, founded by Dr. Wilder Penfield in 1934. This film served as the educational portion of a large fundraising event, with all proceeds going towards helping this research continue.

A Brilliant Night’s mission was to help translate year’s long scientific research into a simplified, moving story that gave benefactors a glimpse into the MNI’s present and future pursuits with stem cells and their potential to help cure cancer.

I lead the creation of this piece.



A Brilliant Night is an artistic interpretation of a journey inside the human brain, inspired by the MNI’s research with stem cells and cancer treatment. The film allows us to explore the formation of neuronal pathways and networks that lead to the creation of thoughts and memories, and what those may look like. We’re also invited to think about the potential of stem cells, by making parallels between the infinitely small and infinitely large aspects of our perceived universe. And of course, since the film screened inside the dome of the planetarium, the audience was literally transported inside the brain –at least, for a few minutes!

Below are some images used for inspiration along with their resulting interpretation.

Formation of a neuronal pathway.

Formation of a neuronal pathway.

The REAL neural network.

The REAL neural network.

The    Raman Probe    (laser that detects cancer cells) an award-winning tool developed by The Neuro and Polytechnique.

The Raman Probe (laser that detects cancer cells) an award-winning tool developed by The Neuro and Polytechnique.

MRI scan showing signs of multiple brain tumours.

MRI scan showing signs of multiple brain tumours.




Big thank you to the Montreal Neurological Institute and the A Brilliant Night Foundation for inspiring this story. This project could never have been completed without the amazing software and support from the entire team at Mettle! Special thanks to The Big Brain team for their incredible brain imaging work and support.


Client: Montreal Neurological Institute
Chief Researchist: Dr. Kevin Petrecca
Producers: Heidi Small, Wendy Sculnick, Marie-Claude LaCroix
Concept, Script, Art Direction, Direction: George Simeo
Animation: George Simeo, Patrick Goski, Dominic Pons, Pierre-Guilhem Roudet
Audio Mix (dome): Benoît Dame
Projection Technicians (dome): Simon Gauthier, Patrick Geoffroy
Sound Design: Joe Barrucco
Voice-Over: Dr. Kevin Petrecca
Research Associates / Advisors: Dr. Michael Jermyn, Dr. Timothy Kennedy, Dr. Denise Klein, Dr. Robert Zatorre, Simon Drouin, Amanda Fritz, Anita Kar, Chris Kent, Michael Peccho