At Diamond View Studios in Tampa, telling stories through video is what they do.

One of their recent projects is a video making waves online, raising awareness about PTSD.

In what they called a social experiment, they took over a local coffee shop for a day. With more than 5800 watts of speaker power and seven hidden cameras, they put complete strangers to the test. The people in the video are real customers.

“Doing a social experiment was new to us, and so when the client came in told us a little bit about the reality of PTSD, it struck a chord and made us think what would life be like if we were in that situation each day,” said CEO Tim Moore.

While people are waiting for their drinks, the video shows customers jumping in surprise to loud noises including sounds of explosions, a car crash and dogs barking.

“Did you hear that?” a customer asks.

The barista replies, “Hear what?”

The other guests in the coffee shop, including the barista, don’t react to the noise.

As more customers walk in, the noises continue.

“That was really the idea behind the creative. Let’s take normal people and put them in a situation where they’re uncomfortable. Let them feel what it’s like for just maybe one hour to have PTSD,” Moore said.

As the customers are about to walk out of the coffee shop, they’re told they were part of a social experiment. The video shows the barista leading the customers to the back of the shop where they meet the production crew and look at the video.

When asked how they felt when no one else reacted to the noise, the customers said they felt alone. One customer said he “wanted someone else to feel like they were on my same wavelength. I felt like I was the outcast.”

They were asked how they would feel if they had to deal with it every day and a customer answered, “That would be debilitating.”

Another customer said it was jarring. “To know that people are suffering in silence. It’s always been that sort of thing where you don’t really talk about it,” he said.

They learned 24 million people in the US deal with PTSD daily.

At the end of the video, you see the customers hugging the man who acted as a barista at the coffee shop.

“To me, it was awesome to see them get the reveal of what we were trying to get them to feel. They really understood that this would be really difficult to live with,” Moore said.

The video was made for a local nonprofit with a global reach helping people with PTSD called ART International.

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