Jason Bee is a Texas filmmaker who also happens to have bipolar disorder. Luckily for us, he’s decided to try and make a movie about bipolar disorder, and share with the world what it’s like to live with this mental health concern.
“It’s the story of a recently divorced man trying to be a good father to his young son, but becomes consumed by a mysterious new woman and his own bipolar disorder,” Jason tells me.
“I’m trying to use this blessing/curse that has had its turn at haunting me for a long period of my life as a way to reach others in their journey… to let them know they’re not alone. It’s no biopic, but it is based on my experiences with the disease.”
He’s trying to raise $7,800 for the movie’s initial production. It sounds like a good cause, so I wanted to share it with you.
So I asked Jason for a little bit more information about his motivation for making a movie that features a person with bipolar disorder:
For me, a film is the most visually dynamic way that I can tell this kind of story and feel like people will listen. On one hand, I want to make a quality and entertaining film that explores human behavior, the drama within us all and something we can all relate to, through this defined quality that at times can be incredibly scary, yet can also provide incredible beauty.
On the other hand, I want to use this story as a medium to reach others that may be struggling, or might be watching a loved one struggle and show them they’re not alone and they don’t have to live like that.
But the challenge in that becomes actually reaching them. For me, I know that when I was allowing myself to be a victim, I would literally compete with others in how extreme it could get. I think that’s something we all tend to do. So I know going in that in order to get some peoples’ attention, I have to first compete with them on the “crazy factor” (for lack of a better term), shake them up a bit and then flip it around on them and just hope that I do my job as a storyteller to evoke the emotions set in this film.
His struggle with bipolar disorder is mirrored in his life, and his desire to tell his story via this film. “I actually started writing this just after my youngest son was born, so I’ve been at this project for just over 3 years now. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with it — it’s beat me into the ground on occasion, but I refuse to give up on it. I think it’s a timeless story that can serve purpose at any moment. I think it’s also time a movie came out that shows the stark, gritty realities of this condition without trivializing it.”
Growing apart from his 3-year-old son, he realized he needed to make some serious changes to his life to make it to the next year, and the year after that. “It also helped that my therapist told me, “Your disease destroys relationships,” and I was finally in a place to hear her,” Jason told me.
“If I can reach one person on the edge to say, “maybe I should talk to someone,” it would be worth it. I want the audience to walk out really thinking about what they just saw. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist.”
Jason realizes it’s going to cost more than this amount of money to make a quality feature film. This is just to get started with the principal photography of the film (and he’s nearly one third of the way toward his goal):
We cannot shoot the entire movie at that budget level, but we’re big believers in “activity breeds activity.” We’ve spent almost three years in the writing, planning, and pre-production stages of the project and now is the time for filming.
There’s a saying in the industry, “Good, fast, cheap… pick two.” We’re not willing to sacrifice “good” and we will make this film — it’s just a matter of how much money we’re able to raise. If we can raise more than the initial $7,800 and film more up front, that would be an absolutely welcomed blessing. If we can’t, we’ll work with what we get and however long it takes.
As I said, this sounds like a good project, and so I encourage you to check out the websites below and consider supporting this interesting film project.