Mental Health and Depression

Just over one year ago Robin Williams lost his battle with Depression. It was a moment that had me and most of the world floored, at a loss for words and sad.

Battling depression myself, I have a partial understanding of where his mind may have been. So I get it. But some of my friends and family didn’t. They called him selfish and a coward and so on. This bothered me and made me hide my feeling of depression even more. I didn’t want to be branded in that light so just hid my feeling deep down inside. The problem with that is when depression hits me the pain is overwhelming that anything to make that stop, seems like a good idea. As a result I feel very alone even though I am not.

There is a bright side to this tragedy and that is it has brought about more discussion about the issues of depression and mental health, but these conversations with friends and family still bothered me. I was thinking about Robin and watching some of his fantastic stuff on YouTube and then I had an idea, a moment of inspiration.

How do I educate those people who don’t understand what it’s like living with depression? Once again inspired by Robin and I started writing my idea for a short film that became The Weirdo Hero. I based it around a friend of mine and professional wrestler Ravenous Randy Myers. Randy has been battling depression since he was 10 years old and is a very talented wrestler. I sent my idea off to him and then we sat down and hammered out the backbone of the story. The story is not a documentary in any way but it does have a lot of our personal feelings in the film.

The hard part is making an entertaining film while staying to the core values of educating those who don’t understand. Also, the film has to be true to depression without being cliche. If you suffer from depression, you must be able to watch our film and know we aren’t just making stuff up. It has to be 100% accurate. In addition to educating those who don’t understand, it is the responsibility of the film to remind those who are battling depression that, when things seem the darkest, You are not alone. You can make a phone call, it is Okay to ask for help and even though you may not realize it, you ARE a hero to someone.

Robin was a truly great man who constantly cheered me up when I was down and inspired me. He is a person I wish I had a chance to meet and just sit and talk with.

August 31st in Vancouver B.C. We are having a local screening for the cast and crew and friends and family before we hit the festival circuit. We are always looking for support and help promoting the film.

trailer —

Derek Hird

Writer / Producer, The Weirdo Hero.