“The Other Side” is an evocative rendition of the journey from despair and loneliness to hope and community, as told by those who are in recovery from mental illness and addictions. It was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963. The short video debuted at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s annual Mental Health and Addictions Conference in April 2013 to provide the emotional foundation for this gathering focused on the future of behavioral healthcare — a future that embraces recovery, promotes effective treatment and bears witness to lives changed because of community mental health services.
The short video was filmed using a RED EPIC camera to allow the editing team full latitude in post-production. Color saturation and frame speed were manipulated to visually convey the 50-year progression from mental health treatment in asylums that was historically isolated and stigmatizing to the more hopeful, community-oriented treatment opportunities that exist for mental health consumers today.
Voice-overs accompany captivating, monochromatic images of desolate living conditions, communicating the neglect and isolation felt by so many before they began their path to recovery. To capture the eerie realities of bygone mental health facilities, the crew shot original footage using a steady cam on location at the Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Spring City, Pa., and Springfield Hospital Center – Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Sykesville, Md. Steady-cam footage was filmed at 120 frames per second to allow for slow motion effect in the final product, resulting in a memory-evoking feel. As the video tone moves into hopefulness, footage from a vibrant community mental health center, Mosaic Community Services in Timonium, Md. is featured. Close-ups of the faces behind the voice-overs are also featured, demonstrating social inclusion, connections and celebrations in full color.
An original string score was commissioned for the video to provide a stronger emotional foundation and to ensure its attachment to other elements of the National Council’s annual conference. The video was the precursor to a live string-quartet performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
The short video was produced and directed by Meaning in Media and Vanguard Communications for the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. It features the likeness of Clayton Chau, Larry Fricks, Kevin Hines, Patrick J. Kennedy, Jeff Richardson, Linda Rosenberg, Steven Sharfstein, Cheryl Sharp, Sandra Spencer, Brandon Staglin, Katherine Switz and Sharon Wise.