The Mess

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Dorothy Allen-Pickard

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

The Act of Killing


What motivated you to make this film?

Conversations with my friend Ellice


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.



Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story.

Super Slow Motion


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

We filmed three separate scenes, each with its own style and register and the challenge of the edit where we saw it all come together was making the different scenes seamlessly cut together.


Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film.

Experimenting with new techniques that work well on screen.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Make films about subjects you know and care about deeply.


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

The shoot itself when you see it all coming together, but also don’t know exactly how it’ll work in the edit.


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why?

Comfortable shoes because you don’t know how long you’ll be on your feet.


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

We shot the underwater parts in the outdoors Hampstead ponds in London in the middle of winter on a Go Pro!


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

We made it on a minuscule budget of £1.5k so convincing all the necessary crew to work for next to nothing was probably the biggest challenge


What do you want audiences to take away from your film?

A better understanding of bipolar


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

Representing mental health on screen, using artistic visuals to add to narrative


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed?

Ellice is developing a solo show on her experience of bipolar


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

Help organising screenings


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.):



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