Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970. He is color blind and dyslexic. At the age of 8 he moved to New York with his folks. When he was 17 Nicolas moved back to Copenhagen to complete his High School Education. Straight after graduating he returned to New York where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. However this was short-lived as Nicolas threw a desk at a classroom wall and was expelled from the Academy. Subsequently, he applied to the Danish Film School and was accepted. This education too was to be short-lived as one month prior to the start of term he pulled the plug.
A short film Nicolas had written, directed and starred in was aired on an obscure cable channel and lead to an offer he could not refuse. Nicolas was offered 3.2 million kroners to turn the short film into a feature. Since then Nicolas has written and directed films such as Drive, Only God Forgives, Pusher, Bronson and Inside Job just to name as few, and all whilst being color blind.
So if you’ve ever wondered why Nicolas Winding Refn’s films are inundated with neon and striking high contrast colors, it’s because this super talent is visually impaired. Basically Nicolas does not see mid-colors, and as a result has virtually patented his signature one-color technique, where he floods films like Only God Forgives and Drive with a singular palette drenched with super saturated glorious colors.
Moral of the story.. There is no limit to ambition, aspiration and creativity! Turn disability into capability.