A Letter From Ira
This is producer Ira Wohl, and welcome to the new online home of People Say I'm Crazy! Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing your thoughts.
We have spent the last year developing this site for three reasons. First, we wanted to spread the word about all the good the film is doing. We also hope peoplesayimcrazy.com can act as a educational and informational "clearing house" of sorts for those with mental illness, especially schizophrenia. We hope the site will be beneficial to the families, friends and professionals who tend to those with the illness and whose lives are touched by it.
Finally, as part of the 5th year anniversary celebration of the film's television premiere, we are excited to announce that People Say I'm Crazy is now available on DVD! But more on that in a moment.
As an independent filmmaker in my own right (my film Best Boy won an Oscar for Best Documentary), I was drawn to this film by the raw power and honesty of the footage itself. At that time, I had already been a practicing psychotherapist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Los Angeles, for more than ten years.
Right from the start, I recognized what John and his sister Katie were trying to accomplish and understood it to be the genuine article. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
From that point on, we embarked on the long and arduous process of raising money, and then editing and finishing the film in such a way as to make John's story as accessible as possible for a general audience. Having finished it, we were then lucky enough to have it accepted for broadcast by HBO/Cinemax, and in the ensuing years we have been able to screen the film theatrically in cities around the United States.
It’s been five years since that first showing, and in that time, not only has the film remained active, but it has garnered a considerable and loyal fan-base.
Many, many people have written us to tell us how the film helped them—or how they used the film to help educate others about mental illness. From individuals with mental illness to coping families to mental health professionals and educators, People Say I'm Crazy has had an impact beyond our best expectations.
All the messages of support over the years have helped shaped this website, and we hope you'll find just what you're looking for, be it information about schizophrenia, or facts and statements about the film. You’ll find many different useful resources of an educational and informational nature available to you, including:
- recommended reading (both from the Cadigans, and from trusted schizophrenia expert Dr. John Csernansky)
- feedback from those who have been aided by the film
- personal stories many of you have shared
- an update from John as to how he has been coping with his illness, both from the point of inside his head, as well as in the outside world
There will be much more coming, and all of it will be updated on a regular basis, so please visit often!
Now, a word about the DVD release, which I'm very excited about. Before, People Say I'm Crazy was only available for educational and institutional purposes. We are very pleased to be able to now offer the People Say I'm Crazy DVD directly to you for private home use.
This DVD release is made possible through the filmmakers themselves—there's no middleman here, or middleman price mark-ups. We're selling this DVD directly because we believe in the good our documentary can do, and we believe that there are many individuals and families out there that could benefit from experiencing John's story.
Finally, you may also consider joining our email list for any updates. One great benefit of joining up is a free gift: the Schizophrenia Study Guide, written by schizophrenia expert Dr. John Csernansky and his wife Dr. Cynthia Csernansky. This study guide is full of valuable information, and it's specially written for People Say I'm Crazy, containing discussion questions for families and other insight into the film and John's condition.
From all the filmmakers of People Say I'm Crazy, a sincere "Thank You" to all of you who've supported the film. Please, explore the site. We hope it can serve as a multifaceted resource for all those with mental illness who yearn to lead meaningful, stigma-free lives.