You want to stop a
conversation quickly? Tell someone youíd
like to make a funny movie
about suicide. Itís a little like asking
a stranger about their favorite masturbation techniques.
A sour look is followed by uncomfortable
silence and a quick exit.
this movie I foolishly thought I was going to get off easy. I imagined Iíd chat with a few celebrities
whoíd had some sort of suicide experience and then pepper in light
my own family experience using some of my comic writing from past work. It seemed so simple; a famous stand up comic
cracks a few wise but thought provoking jokes, a renowned dancer
his past work and how his motherís suicide affected his view of the
rock star sings a poignant song and weíre done. I
listen and we all would be just a
little wiser without
getting hurt. Then the celebrities, many
of whom I had worked with before, all said no. It
on me that maybe not everyone feels
like chiming in
with extremely personal and often difficult stories about their lives. I also realized that I was avoiding the
subject as well by trying to take the easy way and not delving into my
So, after a few
rounds of cocktails, my incredibly talented team and I decided to take
different approach (thankfully the team did not say no, even if they
should have) First decision: fuck the
famous people. We talk to real people
and ask them questions that come from my experience with my own momís
suicide. Then we find incredibly
talented but not so well known performers to give us their takes on how
would handle the subject. We create our
own odd little suicide community of survivors, attempters, creators,
destroyers, whatever, and let whatever happens happen while trying to
anything that seems precious or easy. Thus
was born Donít Change the Subject.
has been by far the most enjoyable creative experience of my
life. I got to make the movie the
thirteen year old me would have wanted to see after my mom died. Itís irreverent in places, incredibly sad in
others, yet still funny and fun and in a very weird way upbeat. This is because of the amazing honesty and
candor of a lot of really incredible people. Thanks
also got to make this movie for my
mom who, if she had
the chance, might have made it herself.
This is for anyone out
there who has ever wondered what the hell he or
she is doing here and perhaps questioned whether or not sticking around
worth it. The answer is yes.
It is complicated and you are right to
question all the ridiculousness but please stick around.
Let us show you our reasons why.
Letter to Survivors