Wes Beiko is a Media Production Company owner. At only 20 years old, he’s been working in video production since he was 12. Now, he does everything from shooting (Director Of Photography), to directing, to writing, to the occasional acting. And that’s all in addition to doing all forms of post production (video and audio editing)! His current film (title to be determined) aims to make help more available to those with mental illness. Check out his video below and his Q&A with us. If you want to support Wes, donate to his gofundme campaign here.
Can you sum up your film in two sentences?
It is a documentary that is focused on Mental Health Awareness and the reality of the current situation in North America we are in- individuals need more help. This is demonstrated to the viewer through a realistic, unequivocal and sometimes uncomfortable view of what those who are afflicted with mental illness go through.
What inspired you to be involved in this project?
In my personal life, mental illness has played a major role. My mother suffered from mental illness and growing up I saw it destroy her, which eventually lead to her death earlier this year. As I grew older I began to deal with mental health issues in my own world.
Daily I deal with depression, anxiety and minor obsessive compulsiveness. For me, having seen the “wrong way” to deal with these issues, pushes me to strive to do my best each day to move past them. While they are always there, It isn’t something that is a hindrance. I had gone through the Alberta mental health system and saw its flaws, how so many are thrown to the waste and don’t get the help they need. The majority of the time they are put on pills which helps with the symptoms but not the root cause. This was my main inspiration, I wanted to help make a change and even if I could only impact one person’s life, it was enough of a reason to go forward with this.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in making this film?
Funding. There is a saying in film making: “Most people don’t want to fund your documentary”. And this holds true. For the film to be able to have the last two thirds of production finished, I am in need of more funding. The majority of this has been self funded. However a large portion that covered all pre-production costs came from our film’s sponsor, Welcome Homes LTD.
The biggest challenge in making this is being able to get the capital in place to be able to see this through. People can donate to the project here.
What has been your happiest/most rewarding moment in this journey?
The support from the public. Since starting this long journey, many people have come to me offering words of support, giving me their services and time, and offering individuals wanting to be in the actual documentary. This has been the most rewarding part, it matters to the community and to the audience I am making this for. On the days when I question if its still worth pursuing, they make it worthwhile and help keep me grounded in the fact that this will and currently has an impact on some people’s live’s. That is the most rewarding part of all. I just want to help people.
What sort of change do you hope your film instigates?
I hope it helps bring awareness, eliminates some of the stigma associated with mental illness, gets people talking about these issues that so many people face, and finally I hope (from a political perspective) the governing bodies in North America provide new initiatives in the mental health sector and that those who need help can finally get it.
Just keep on taking it day by day. We may not have the funding now, or tomorrow or the next day. But when we do, this film will be seen through to completion and I know it will have a much larger impact than first anticipated.
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