In fall 2018 Andrea Beça invited me on the We All Believe In You - The Documentary journey and I had no idea that my role as Production Manager and Boom Operator would have a transformative effect on my personal life. Or maybe it is no surprise to those of you familiar with the We All Believe In You community.
We All Believe In You - The Documentary
We All Believe in You started as a portrait project created by photographer Blake Loates, and in the short span of two years grew into a peer support group for folks living with mental illness that not only saves lives, but is constantly working to create real systemic change in how we approach, treat, and speak about mental illness. This is the story of how We All Believe in You (WABIY) started, and the journey both Blake and some of its members have been on.
WRITTEN, DIRECTED, PRODUCED, AND EDITED BY ANDREA BEÇAFrom abecaproductions.com
This was my first experience working on a documentary and I admire Andrea as a multi-tool filmmaker: Producer, writer, director, editor, sound operator, and more. I think Andrea’s experience wearing many hats and self-producing most of her work gave her great insight to wrangle documentaries into existence.
During Pre-Production my time was filled with elaborate colour coded schedules of my own creation to ensure we captured the incredible subjects from the WABIY Community. Then, the four days we spent shooting I was also the boom operator. It was a privileged space to be in, the microphone catching the intimate stories, with the headphones enveloping my existence piping in the raw stories that were so generously offered.
I was moved and shaken by some of the things I heard through the headphones over those four days twofold. First, these wonderful, caring, sensitive, brave, and funny people had been through sorrows, pains, and hardships that they did not deserve and my heart went out to them. Second, some of their thoughts and feelings were strikingly similar to my own experience at that time. That’s when I finally admitted to myself: I was extremely depressed and suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I was hiding behind unhealthy productivity and the ability to lie to myself.
Inspired by the amazing subjects of this documentary and their call to mental wellness. I put a care plan into action. I followed the wisdom of the phrase I heard from almost every person, “you are not alone” and, “reach out for help”. I reached out to my supports, I returned to therapy, and I changed aspects of my lifestyle. I am forever grateful for this experience because Andrea’s crew are some of the best humans and because this documentary shares an important message that everyone needs to hear.