I write this to you on the last day of 2016, as an update, a reflection, and a call to action for a film that you have supported and is nearly finished — and sadly, is dangerously close to not being finished at all.
In documentary filmmaking the highest expenditures are in post-production: editing, sound editing, sound mixing, color correction and digital matching. In addition there are rental fees for studio facilities, lawyers fees for clearances, and errors and omissions insurance, not to mention publicity and distribution expenses. We have been able to complete three-quarters of the film on one-third of the budget needed because people have generously allowed delayed payment for much of their work. However, now we are up against post-production deadlines that cannot be met without funds. And so, once again Dear Supporters, I am asking for your help. This time to finish the film. Please reach out to anyone you know who could make a tax-deductible donation to the International Documentary Association ear-marked for "That Way Madness Lies..." — you can donate here.
Regardless for whom you voted for this past November, the fact is, the only candidate in the history of the United States who had a platform and priority for mental health care did not win; and the current president-elect has yet to put the issue on his radar. Yet, the ANNUAL costs of untreated mental illness in this country are upward of $200 billion a year. Imagine the possibilities if we could significantly reduce that cost with less-expensive and more efficient care made possible by an awareness of what is broken within our contradictory system. It remains my mission to show our lawmakers and mental health professionals what the obstacles and frustrations of the system are and how they affect everyone with our film “That way Madness Lies…”. We are so close to making it happen. Won’t you please help today?
The news is not all bad. We did make a lot of progress this year, and that’s why it’s so hard to see the finish line and realize we might not make it. Here is an overview of the tremendous progress we made last year:
- In December of last year Regina K. Scully, the founder of Artemis Rising Foundations became the largest donor to the film with a donation of approximately 25% of the budget. This donation allowed us to propel the film forward into the last shoots and post-production. Joining the team was Anne Alvergue as Editor/co-writer, and Toby Shimin as Supervising Editor. These two women have provided their insightful talents to the film and helped, supported, and guided me to find the gems in countless hours of footage. It is difficult material not only because it is a personal film, but because the complexities and contradictions, legal and medical terminology and minutia can be mind-numbing. How do you show how difficult it is to traverse this broken, frustrating system without losing your audience? It has taken us longer than expected to find the way in, but our test screenings indicate that people are responding to it intimately and viscerally.
I hesitate to make a statement like the one above because it might suggest that we are sitting around waiting to be inspired. We are working full time, combing though footage, trying new things, researching, fact checking, writing and rewriting narration, test screening at least 40 hours a week. And for me this is on top of teaching three classes at Yale and Columbia Universities.
- In October, Abigail E. Disney and her company Fork Films awarded us a generous grant for about 12% of the budget.
- Emmy award winning composer Michael Bacon came aboard to write the original score and it has been a pleasure to work with him.
- Songwriter Bill Coleman from the band Black Hawk County agreed to license the song Oregon (I Can't Go Home.) to the film. It has such meaning for anyone who was in Oregon in the 1970's and had a connection with the film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" of which I was unaware until I contacted Bill.
- We then set our sights on the Berlinale Film Festival, one of the biggest film markets in the world, that only accepted three American documentary films last year. Unfortunately, we were not accepted, but the blow was soften by the fact that we would not have been able to attend for lack of funds.
- Now we have our sights set on premiering at perhaps the most appropriate place — The Portland International Film Festival, February 9-28. Here’s hoping we are accepted!
I have come to learn that film festivals consider far more than just the quality of the film in its decision to accept and although it is always a disappointing blow to my ego when rejected, a festival is and of itself an organic artistic creation of theme where individual pieces must contribute to a greater whole.
Below are the festival where I have applied thus far. Keep your fingers crossed if there is one in an area near you.
- Portland International Film Festival - February 9 - 26, 2017
- SXSW March 10 - 19, 2017
- Sun Valley Film Festival March 15 - March 19
- Cleveland International film festival March 29 - April 9, 2017
- San Francisco International Film Festival - April 5 - April 19
- Ashland Independent Film Festival April 6 - April 10, 2017
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival April 6 - April 9, 2017
- Hong Kong International Film Festival April 11 - April 25, 2017
- First Glance Film Festival Los Angeles April 13, - April 16 2017
- Tokyo Lift Off Festival Film Festival April 17 - April 22,20 17
- Tribeca April 19 - 30, 2017
- Beverly Hills Film Festival April 26 - April 30, 2017
- Beijing Film Festival April 28 - April 30, 2017
- IFS Film Fest Independent Filmmakers' showcase May 3 - May 15, 2017
- Seattle International Film Festival - May 18 -- June 11, 2017
- Rooftop Films May 20th - August 20, 2017
- AFI Docs Film Festival - June 14 - June 18, 2017
- Maui Film Festival - June 21 - June 25, 2017
- Oregon Independent Film Festival September 16 - September 30, 2017
Here's to a healthy. peaceful and happy 2017. And to the year that will premiere "That Way Madness Lies..."
Thank you for all your support to this important film and cause!