Was it Johnny Rotten or Scrappy Doo who defined the baby boomer generation? Will the month-old milk make a run for it when the fridge door is opened and is a lack of carrier bags the only thing stopping Harry becoming a serial killer? It’s the early 1980s, Thatcher’s policies have divided the UK, and unemployment and depression reach record levels. Addy and Harry meet in a psychiatric ward, and discover they have something in common – voices in their heads. Harry’s vicious harpy tells him he’s a useless waste of space, while Addy hears the voice of God telling her to jump off cliffs.
When Addy is admitted to the same psychiatric ward as Harry following failed suicide attempt, Harry’s comfortable world of watching Scooby Doo all day is turned on its head, and after Addy persuades him to let her stay at his flat for the night, Harry finds himself faced with more than he’d bargained for. For the first time in a long while, he is faced with the terrifying prospect of dancing, and some tricky decisions concerning responsibility, consent and doing the right thing as Addy becomes increasingly unwell without her medication.
Mental illness and drug addiction are serious conditions that affect millions of people. They are also topics where stigma and ignorance are rampant, making it difficult for those affected to seek help or even talk about their experiences. We want to help change the conversation by making a film that addresses the issues in a light-hearted way. A lot of what we see on TV and in the movies depicts mental illness as something terrifying that “happens to other people.” Drug addiction is either glamorised or couched in the language of war and disease, rather than a matter of personal choice. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Fall to Pieces is a 35 minute animated drama written, produced, and directed by me, Ian Patterson. I wanted to make a film that was funny, smart, and entertaining while still having something important to say about choice, consent, and responsibility. I also wanted to make a stand against Scrappy Doo.
Fall to Pieces is based loosely on my own experience with addiction – which includes a bout of speed psychosis that landed me in a psychiatric ward for three weeks, and a Christmas epiphany involving a Yorkshire Pudding and a nun. I’ve been clean now for almost thirty years, and spend my time writing and film-making after completing a Creative Writing MA at Newcastle University
Fall to Pieces is my first film and is currently in production. The audio track has already been recorded and professionally mixed, and around seven minutes of final animation produced. We have also completed all character designs and a full-length line animation (an “animatic”). But we still have a long way to go – and with each minute of completed animation costing upwards of £800, a lot of expense too! So please, do have a look around the website, learn more about the film and the cast and crew, and donate to the production costs if you’re feeling generous- and please, don’t let our dream Fall to Pieces!