22 May 2023
As part of our commitment to providing high quality training to people who may not otherwise have access to it, we have employed participatory filmmaker Jack Mead to work with production trainee Charly Flyte, on our new Rethink Mental Illness project to create content for their new TikTok channel.
It’s always nice to know more about the IJP team, so we thought we’d ask Jack a few questions.
What’s your experience in film?
I’ve been a freelance filmmaker for around 10+ years. When I started I was mainly making films for charities and events, over the past 5 years I set up a small production company with a colleague called Bonfire Films and we’ve focused on creating narrative led films for cultural and heritage organisations and museums, which I love!
What excites you about film?
In terms of films I watch, I love how film can so readily transport you to another place and do it in a bite-size, 2-ish hour period and really make you feel something. I saw After Sun recently and I thought it was such a moving and incredibly powerful film, with some great artistic flourishes, that took me on a totally believable journey into the relationship of a father and daughter. In terms of films I’m currently making, I actually love the opportunity to travel around the country and go to some amazing, weird, and wonderful places and meet the people who feel so much connection to these places. After that, the puzzle of how you are going to try and knit together all your footage into an interesting, story with heart is hard but ultimately very satisfying.
What is it about this Rethink Mental Illness partnership that is so powerful?
Rethink Mental Illness is a truly incredible charity that provides essential information, support and hope to the huge amount of people suffering from severe mental illness and during our initial conversations we’ve learned from them that 75% of diagnoses happen before 18 years old, so to be making content that reaches that target age group and then hopefully makes a difference to someone’s life, is a really exciting and rewarding prospect.
What is the role of social media in helping people with mental health?
I think we all know the potential perils of social media for mental health, but it can definitely have some benefits too, if used in the best way. I think social media has the potential to provide information that feels relevant and trustworthy to many people, whilst also providing hope…all in bitesize chunks (which however you feel about that, is quite simply the way most people digest information these days).
What are your hopes for the project?
To have fun with Charly, see them grow as a film maker and hopefully in the process we can make some really informative, thought provoking and creative videos that have an impact.
What are three fun facts about you – one professional, one personal, one wildcard?
I once was a lowly runner on a Taylor Swift music video where I somehow ended up being picked out to go and film her and Ed Sheeran chatting and hanging out backstage which felt very surreal! I have loads of metal in my shoulder due to reconstruction surgery about 15 years ago, which sometimes sets of security scanners! My current favourite word is ‘Mumma’ because it’s what my 2 year old daughter has decided to call me (she calls my partner Mummy confusingly)!