This week, in honor of Mental Health awareness month, we talk with filmmaker Jamielyn Lippman about her new documentary, When the Bough Breaks. The film takes an honest look at Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis. Narrated and Executive Produced by Brooke Shields, it premiered last week in 64 countries and 4 languages.
How did you find that idea that started your business?
Seven years ago I was making a documentary about actors and interviewed an actress named Tanya Newbould.
She told me about her experience with Postpartum Depression and how she couldn’t find any information about it and that there needed to be a documentary about it.
Not having experienced it myself or knowing much about it I did some research and found at the time it affected 1 in 7 women after child birth. I placed an advertisement looking for women to appear in the film and had over 100 women write to me in 24 hours wanting to share their stories. I knew at that moment that I had no choice but to make a film that would not only help women but would save lives.
We set forward and started working on “When The Bough Breaks.” Day by day, doing what we could. We did it for very little money, a lot of hard work and utilizing every resource we possibly could.
When it was finished and we took it out to buyers and got immediate interest I knew this dream of being a filmmaker was something I could do and I needed to keep making films.
Where were you at in life when you started the film?
I started January 2014, both of my girls were in school full-time and I knew I was ready to give this 100%.
How did you know this idea was something that you were going to make happen?
I knew it was a story that needed to be told. I also don’t believe in quitting so I knew I would do whatever it took and just kept believing that it would all work out in the end.
What was the biggest fear you had to overcome to take that first step?
That it wasn’t going to be easy to balance it all. Making movies means long production hours and sometimes I would have to miss things, which is hard with a family. I also had to come to grips that I wouldn’t always be able to bake my cookies from scratch.
What is the biggest fear you are still knocking down every day to keep moving forward in the industry?
That I can really have it all!
Who has been your biggest cheerleader?
My family – everyone from my husband, kids, siblings and parents.
Who was your first sale to as a filmmaker?
“When The Bough Breaks” was my first big sale. As a filmmaker you really don’t know if what you are making is going to be something people want. It got picked up for distribution by Gravitas Ventures and Netflix bought it!
What is something you do for self-care?
I do hot yoga 5 days a week and have a much-earned glass of red wine at the end of the day.
How do you balance work with your personal life/relationships?
When I am with my family or friends I try to give them 100% of my attention. I also schedule time for everything – workouts, girls nights, date nights, me time and outings with my kids. If you put it in the calendar and plan in advance you can accomplish so many more things.
What do you hope your children are learning from you?
Independence & that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself.
What advice would you give women just starting out?
Pick one thing and focus on that, be realistic about your product and know your audience. Be wiling to sacrifice and have a lot of self-discipline. And remember, Big risks equals big rewards!
What’s on the horizon for you as a director?
I just directed a narrative thriller called “Killer Weekend” and I am in post-production on my current documentary “3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story,” about an actor who was duped into drug smuggling and spent three years in a Pakistani prison. I have several other documentaries and features in development.
What is your go-to singing – top of your lungs, windows – down in a car song?
Anything from the musical RENT!