In 2014 I finally realized my dream of making a documentary film about my life with paranoid schizophrenia. The film which eventually became 'People Call Me Crazy' began in early 2005 when I was first diagnosed with mental illness and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital.
I had always wanted to make films but making a film about my illness seemed a bit daunting at the time. It was only when it worsened that I decided it was time to do it before I couldn’t anymore.
I could explain my illness here but the film is my story. That was a goal of mine was to honestly explain schizophrenia to people and to dismiss the myths around it (most commonly that old chestnut of "schizophrenia is split personality"). When I was in hospital (and when discharged) I found it very strange that I was always shown books or videos of people explain how a schizophrenic SHOULD feel. I was never shown a schizophrenic explaining how they actually feel. This was the main goal when I made the film to have a schizophrenic explaining the illness as no one knows it better than someone who deals with it day to day.
I shot the film with a close friend after I successfully raised enough money to shoot it though Kickstarter. Having that close friend there, and a no pressure ‘we need to keep to schedule’ approach I found it easier to talk about things. Simple recollections of things are difficult so it took surprisingly long to get short amounts of footage. I put everything I had mentally into the film trying my hardest to remember things and put complicated delusions into words for others to try and understand. It’s something I’m glad I was able to do and hopefully people will see the struggles people like me suffer every day.
I hope the film accomplishes in this as that's more important than any film festival or critic reviews.
Watch 'People call me crazy' by Juno Jakob