Our psyche can do almost anything: it can scare us, conjure butterflies in our stomachs, torture us with boredom and flood us with creative ideas. It can make us strong and sick, and whatever we do, we cannot escape it.
In “Psycho”, we address these various phenomena: in half-hour films, each dealing with a different topic, we show what the unconscious is capable of. Among other things, they deal with fear, resilience or sexual desire. The range of topics is just as diverse as the varieties of the mind. Regardless of the topic, the message always remains the same: we are all scared. There´s no such thing as forbidden lusts. Everyone is weak sometimes. It´s completely okay to be different. We are all psycho. Let´s talk about it.
The first four episodes are purchased by the French-German culture channel ARTE. The films will be released in 2021, although an exact broadcast date has not been set yet.
The extraordinary thing about our films is the perspective we take: we are not a science show, we don´t explain biological or sociopolitical contexts but rather focus on the subjective view of our heroes in front of the camera. We want to approach the psyche exclusively from their perspective. That is why the films have titles such as “I, anxious” or “I, desiring”. In our films, people talk about themselves instead of being talked about – whether person affected, therapist, acquaintance or lover.
There´s also our special look. When trying to explain how we feel or what is happening inside of us, we speak metaphorically: “It´s like there are flies in my brain” or “it feels like drowning”. We take these statements seriously, try to create these images and use them to tell the stories of our protagonists. This way we bring to light the mysterious inner world of the psyche.
There is a path out and someone else has walked it before. This is what we want to show with “Psychobugs”. We all sit in the same virus-infected pandemic boat and struggle with the similar problems: we drink too much, we´re bored, we miss being touched or just want to be alone for once. Our reach on Instagram is decreasing, we are gaining weight, we want sex but don´t get any and boredom is our constant companion. This depresses many people – not in a colloquial sense, but clinically. Others become aggressive or struggle with panic attacks.
So, what now? All over Europe, people are going through the exact same things and some of them found a way to deal with it. They are not perfect, they are real. They´re not counselors nor studied experts, they´re just themselves. They have tried those things out for themselves. They have no panacea to offer, but they are doing something. And best of all: they tell us about it, so that we can do the same, or something completely different. So that we can learn from each other, and most importantly, so that we hear about each other. Because we´re all psychos! We´re all struggling with our minds, we´re all crazy. In “Psychobugs”, we show that that´s completely normal.
For that purpose, we will gradually publish ten videos, each of them about ten to twelve minutes long. The films will be available on French-German culture network ARTE´s YouTube channel, as well as in their media library. They are expected to be aired in December 2020.
Things have gotten better, but they are still far from being good. Granted, today you can talk more openly about being depressed than you could ten years ago. The same counts for suffering from panic attacks, being into bondage or compulsively counting to 100 before leaving the house. But it´s also far from being seen as normal. In liberal surroundings, revelations like that might be met with a pat on the back, the recommendation of a life coach or a wry look, but there are also environments where it´s best to just shut up about it. At least if you still want to be invited to play table tennis, if you rather spend your breaks with your colleagues than alone or if you´re hoping for a promotion.
Because when your mental health is declining and you´re maybe suffering from a mental illness, then prejudice, resentment and fear are still the order of the day. But that´s nonsense: depressed people are not weak, having a fetish does not make you a pervert and schizophrenia is not contagious.
Here´s the right thing to do: if your psyche is running wild, talk about it, get yourself help and that´s that. Just like with gastritis or a broken leg. As long as things have gotten better but are still far from being good, we have to do something about it.
Our way is to talk about it. We let people tell their stories: those who are affected, those who are trying to help and those living with the affected. Everyone has their own view, and everyone is allowed to tell it. We do not pity anyone. We do not dramatize. We do not sugarcoat things. We listen.
And when are we going to stop? As soon as everyone knows: Being a “psycho” is just normal.
With us, those people affected get their chance to speak rather than being talked about. People struggling with their psyche talk about themselves, their lives and their perceptions. They don´t explain, they don´t give advice, they tell their stories.
Additionally, those who provide professional help – therapists, doctors, coaches – will also express their opinion. Why do they do what they do? What excites them about their work, what annoys them? What gives them hope, what makes them despair? With us, they don´t appear as doctors in white coats, but as people who learned about the psyche in a different way than the people affected. We look beyond the image of the omniscient expert and get to know them as a person.
We also listen to their personal environment. What is it like to deal with all of this as a brother, a roommate or a lover? Is it annoying or inspiring? What do they think and how do they feel on the inside?
Who are the psychos at Berlin Producers Media? Basically, we all have a screw loose and that´s probably why we get along so well. We treat each other with loving respect and don´t always take ourselves too seriously. We realized that we´re all psychos.
There are a lot of people working on our full-length and short films: camerapersons, boom operators, editors, graphic designers, producers, narrators and much more. Here we introduce those three people responsible for the content of the films.
Antje feeds sugar water to fly larvae, follows thunderstorms, erects ladders in lakes, and in short does everything you need to produce good images. She received her degree in directing documentary films in Berlin and studied one semester in Israel. Besides her studies and work, she has always been devoted to photography, graphic design and producing videos. If all of that is not enough, she studies Biblical Hebrew and works in an open-air cinema.
„Psycho“ is particularly vital to her. She thinks that it´s important to break down prejudice and to point out that we are all struggling with something. Wouldn´t it be easier if we´d just talked about it?
Marie can perform miracles: Whenever you´re looking for a protagonist to tell their story, she´ll tell you to wait a second and starts to type wildly on her phone or laptop and bada bing! Within minutes, she pulls someone out of the hat who is likeable and wonderful. The Frenchwoman is very well connected, has wide interests and is clever and charming in a way that you can´t refuse her anything. She studied humanities with a focus on literature and film in France as well as German-French Journalism in Germany.
Marie is on fire for the Psycho project. She wants to give people a forum to show themselves for what they are. Her conviction is that we are neither crazy nor weak, we´re just psycho.
Jessica has been developing and producing films for many years, but „Psycho“ is a very special project to her. To her, giving a platform to people struggling with their psyche is a matter of heart, because she knows from her own experience what a rollercoaster the psyche can be. Therefore, her heart skipped when ARTE approached her in form of a smart and witty editor to write a concept: Write something about the psyche. Nothing scientific. Nothing heavy. But something honest that is also encouraging. The results of this are „Psycho“ and „Psychobugs“. Jessica is very happy to implement this important project with such a creative, dedicated and funny team.