AMA | Do you feel that Mental Health is misrepresented in the media and misused in general conversations? Then take a look at "Black Bear", a short film I am Producing, in which we aim to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health. Please feel free to ask us anything about the process.

Dec 22, 2017

Hi I am Liam and I am a Freelancer Runner and Filmmaker in the Film, TV and commercial industry.

My latest project which I'm excited to share with you is "Black Bear". Our aim is to change the stereotypes associated with mental health and focuses specifically on OCD. Due to the film's 10 minute format, we intend to explore the condition on a deeply emotional leve, to provide an insight and open discussions about the disorder.

Please follow our crowdfunding campaign at the following link.

Each view of our page / video and share will increase our outreach and allow us to share our message with a broader audience.

I hope you can join us alongside our campaign. Feel free to ask any questions about the process and the crew and myself will be happy to answer. 

Thank you!

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In your opinion are certain mental health illness more stigmatized than others? Why is that and how can the movie industry help overcome that?

Feb 16, 2:16AM EST0

Why did you pick OCD specifically and not depression, anxiety, schizophrenia etc for this movie?

Feb 14, 9:15AM EST0

Have you watched other movies that have mental health issues as a central theme? which one is your favourite?

Feb 14, 6:40AM EST0

Do you personally know anyone with OCD? How has that influenced your movie making process?

Feb 14, 4:47AM EST0

What are some tips you could give other filmmakers?

Dec 22, 4:30AM EST0

Which of your works are you most proud of?

Dec 21, 7:38PM EST0

Why do you think that mental illnesses are misrepresented?

Dec 21, 4:44PM EST0

I believe the main reason is due to lack of knowledge. Like I have discussed previously, before beginning Pre-Production on Black Bear, I was not aware of the symptoms of OCD or many mental health illnesses in general. I cannot think of a time where I was taught about mental health in any period of my education. 

This lack of knowledge then carries over into films, where the characters use the line "I'm so OCD" over things which are nothing to do with the condition. But because it is in the mainstream media, people believe this to be true.

However, I believe things are changing and this is a great time to spread awareness and give the minority a voice. 

Dec 21, 4:51PM EST0

Do you think that people are familiar enough with how living with mental illness really looks like?

Dec 21, 12:02PM EST0

Not at all. I believe it is sugarcoated in the media and misrepresented. Hopefully this film is the start, as I want more people to create films about mental health and to further spread awareness. Luckily with social media, the minority are being provided with a voice which gives more strength to this projects and others that have the same aim. 

By showing what the real symptoms of OCD are, it will help people identify the disorder.

Dec 21, 12:41PM EST0

What inspires you to create?

Dec 21, 7:33AM EST0

Simply put, to tell stories. I've never been much of an easy reader, and I find it much more enjoyable watching content. From watching epic's such as Lord of the Rings when I was younger, I was fascinated how they created such an indepth world and the characters within it. 

I think one of the most important things is establishing a character within a world in which we are watching. This truly enables us to escape our busy lives and forget about our worries. 

Therefore I want to help create a world and characters that people get lost in.

Liam Morgan - Producer

Dec 21, 12:35PM EST0

What was the first movie you ever created?

Dec 21, 6:22AM EST0

I referred to my first movie that I ever created below in another question. It was called "Michael Jackson vs Luke Skywalker". As you can guess from the title, it was a fight between these two characters.

I also starred in the film as MJ, wearing his signature hat and performing his moves, whilst fighting my friend with Skywalker's lightsaber, all whilst bouncing on a trampoline... I'm glad to say things have improved a lot from this! Since then I have worked on at least 20 sets at a professional standard.

Dec 21, 12:31PM EST0

Who do you aspire to be like?

Dec 21, 4:40AM EST0

How long does it usually take to make a movie?

Dec 21, 4:39AM EST0

It really depends on many different factors, such as locations and what is actually being filmed. For example, more complex scenes, such as Scene 1 where Riley's house is broken into, it will take a considerable amount of time for our Production Designer to dress the set and for our DOP to light the scene. It is an important scene so we want to spend more time on it than is necessarily needed.

On bigger productions, typically 2 pages of a script are filmed over a 12 hour working day. For this short film, with a smaller amount of crew, I am allocating a page of script for each day to ensure we have enough time. Since it is a 10 minute short, there will be 10 shooting days.

Dec 21, 12:28PM EST0

Do you plan on creating movies focusing on other mental illnesses?

Dec 21, 2:18AM EST0

I'm not sure of my future career plan yet, but I would certainly love to. I believe films that educate, as well as entertain an audience are very important, especially when tackling such current issues such as mental health. It enables the minority to have a voice and this is something which is very close to me.

Last edited @ Dec 21, 12:24PM EST.
Dec 21, 12:24PM EST0
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Can you describe the movie a bit more?

Dec 21, 1:35AM EST0

Certainly. Here is our synopsis:

After a traumatic robbery which triggers his OCD, Riley becomes obsessed with the thought of someone causing harm to him and his loved-ones. The obsession grows until it consumes every aspect of his life from relationships to work. He attempts to explain his thoughts to his girlfriend Jessica, through the metaphor of a “Black Bear”. 

“Try not to think of a black bear," he tells her " and all you can’t think of is exactly that”.

Throughout the story we follow Riley and his encounters with the bear as it shapes his life. He develops a routine that he obsesses over every evening to ensure his and Jessica’s safety. Each night, around midnight, he slips out of bed and locks all the doors and windows repeatedly, compulsively. The audience anxiously watches as Riley’s fears playback in a dream-like sequence. Then one night Jessica does all that she can in order to draw Riley away from his duties, but to no avail, she simply has to let him continue.

Is there any way he can recover? Who will help him?

This is the moving story of a battle with mental health, with themes of love, hope and a journey to recovery.

You can find out more on our Indiegogo page here

Last edited @ Dec 21, 12:23PM EST.
Dec 21, 12:22PM EST0

What did you do before you were making movies?

Dec 21, 1:23AM EST0

I studied Biology, ICT, Computing and Philosophy & Ethics at A Level and was originally planning to do an apprenticeship in IT. However, making films has always been a part of me and it was lucky that I managed to stumble across the filming of BBC One's Atlantis.

Dec 21, 12:19PM EST0
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How did you meet the members of your team? How do you overcome problems?

Dec 20, 10:28PM EST0

I have met all members of my crew through University. However we have all worked with each other before on various projects outside of University, so we know how each other works and have great set etiquette.

We are really looking forward to making this our strongest project yet.

In terms of overcoming problems, this is hard to say without giving an example. However, we are currently in the process of location scouting so I imagine we will encounter problems here. To ensure things go to plan I am going to make sure I get everything in writing, as I know on other projects where a location have let a crew down before.


Dec 21, 12:17PM EST0

Where do you see yourself as a moviemaker in the future?

Dec 20, 9:21PM EST0

I am interested in most aspects of the filmmaking process, but I have always been a very organised and proactive individual. This made sense for me to become the Producer for this project.

However, my passion lies in the camera department, since this is where I have the most fun. When I film I am fully engaged with the project at hand and love every second of it. Therefore I would like to continue doing my running jobs in the Film, TV and commercial industry, then work my way up to a Camera Trainee, then 2nd Assistant Camera, 1st Assistant Camera and eventually a Camera Operator.

Dec 21, 11:49AM EST0

Who would you like to work with from your industry?

Dec 20, 6:14PM EST0

To what degree were you familiar with OCD before making this movie? What about now?

Dec 20, 12:58PM EST0

I will admit, that before doing this film I had minimal knowledge of OCD. This is because someone close to me is diagnosed with anxiety and OCD, therefore I had a bit of knowledge into this. However, before doing the film I was unaware of many symptoms of OCD.

From performing primary research for the film, it has helped me understand in great depth about the disorder. 

Dec 21, 11:45AM EST0

What did you study? Was it related to filmmaking?

Dec 20, 8:14AM EST0

I am currently studying Film Production Technology BSc at Birmingham City University in my final year. This is our final year project. 

Dec 21, 11:39AM EST0
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