Hello warriors and supporters around the globe! As many of you are aware by now, I have gotten involved with a really exciting film project here in Thailand, tentatively dubbed “Mum” for reasons I will get into shortly. This brainchild of a tremendous friend-turned-family (Joe Sakda) started as a “that would be cool” idea over some Sunday beers on our (thank you, universe) favorite beauty of a beach in Khanom. But like babies do, it is growing like a weed! I am writing this post to give a bit of color to what it is we are doing for those who have seen the trailer but want to know more, and to update you all on our awesome progress so far. To hear some of this in P’Joe’s own words, please check out his interview on Indiegogo - he has a really powerful message in his heart to tell, and we (an incredible mix of people from all around the globe working on this) want the world to hear it!
So what exactly are we doing here? Our intention is to make a short film. Making a film has always been a dream of P’Joe’s, and the man has vision. As it happens, he’s also surrounded by tons of amazing humans from all walks of life, with skills that vary from writing, making music, acting, photography, editing, designing, the list goes on for miles. Here in lazy Southern Thailand, we also have this thing called time (I know, for the Western folks, this is hard to comprehend!) Long story short, we've come to realize that there is some serious potential here to create something truly awesome.
We bounced around a few different ideas for the film. Some of them really interesting, some of them less than so. But when P’Joe brought me his most recent idea - the seedling for the script we have in progress - I knew it was the one. I could see it in his eyes. As a writer, artist, creator, I know that look. He has a story to tell, and it’s going to get out. I absolutely wanted to be a part of it. Since that fateful day, a couple months back, we have developed this project quite a bit. It’s like we are on hyperdrive, and it feels amazing. We have had the pleasure of working with talented folks who have traveled to Thailand from all over the world just to contribute to this project. We have a script in progress, locations scouted, equipment purchased (but lots more needed), actors on the ready, wardrobe sorted, test shots looking beautiful, and finally, just this past weekend, our first attempt at filming a scene! (This was an incredible learning experience, and SO. MUCH. FUN.)
I know, I know, “What’s it about?” The Indiegogo page gets into this quite a bit from P’Joe’s perspective, but let me fill you in a bit more. In a nutshell, the film is about motherhood, the pressure that it puts on women vying to fulfill that very large role in their lives, the silent prevalence of post-natal depression, and the lack of awareness of these issues, especially in parts of the world where medical care is lacking (though one could argue that is everywhere). More specifically, it is about a young woman (me) who comes to Thailand, builds a life, and struggles to keep it together as she faces the pressures of new motherhood and a serious case of post-natal depression. We categorize the film as a psychological drama. It will be dark, and is meant to be scary. But aside from entertainment purposes, there’s a real message behind it, an intention to raise awareness of not only the mental anguish many new mother’s face, but the lack of understanding and compassion for their situations and the lack of support from communities, families and medical systems regarding these issues.
We are in the process of finding and interviewing new or “seasoned” mothers, in Thailand or elsewhere, who would like to share their experiences becoming mothers for the first time, or all over again - the pressures and difficulties of the journey, as well as the joys. We would love to hear from you! Help us to depict this issue in a realistic way. Have your opinions and voice heard. Help to spark change in our society and boost support within the medical community. It takes a village to raise a child, and that means all of us!
Not a mother, but want to help? This is 100% a collaborative project and we could use all the help we can get! We are especially eager to hear from those experienced with filmmaking in any capacity (lighting, directing, shooting, cinematography, post production, costumes, makeup, being a really awesome on-set assistant, really, anything!); from anyone local who has equipment that may be of use (lighting, cameras, tripods, software, etc.); from the global community with opinions and perspectives on this very large issue we are trying to tackle (mothers, doctors, families and friends); and of course, from donors who want to financially support this endeavor. Once again, please visit our page on Indiegogo link to contribute financially (this campaign will close in 15 days!) or check out P’Joe’s Workaway project page if you’d like to put your services to work in some other way. (You can also read feedback from those who have visited us so far to learn more about their experiences here.)
Most importantly, a heart-felt thank you from P’Joe, myself, and everyone who has put in so much time and effort to get this project rolling. Thank you to all those who have donated - every little bit helps and will be put to good use! We are so excited to be working on this. It feels like dreams being realized, and that is such a deep sensation. We can’t do this without you, and frankly, we don’t want to! In the meantime, tune in to the Jambay Youtube channel for footage of our preproduction efforts, challenges and progress throughout this journey.
Mum - A film by US!
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.