ALIEN BOY is a feature length documentary film being produced by the Mental Health Association of Portland. The film tells about the life and the death of James Chasse, an artist, a musician, a family member, a neighbor, a member of a religious community, and a person with schizophrenia. James died after a beating at the hands of three members of the Portland Police, and after a series of opportunities for medical intervention failed to occur.
The film is directed by Brian Lindstrom, who created FINDING NORMAL, and KICKING, two insightful films about addiction and recovery.
Here’s an update on our progress to date: A production crew was recruited and has been meeting in collaboration with board members of the Mental Health Association of Portland for over a year. That collaboration has resulted in raising approximately $32,000 from community members and a local foundation.
We have had great help from dozens of people to arrange house parties, throw a rock concert, write proposals to foundations, build this web site, and make solicitation visits. ALIEN BOY is truly a community effort.
One of the most fun aspects to the past year was the ALIEN BOY zine, produced by Erin Yanke and Icky Ciccone. This beautifully designed zine collects a selection of writing and art by James Chasse, as well as interviews with the filmmakers and information about the case. It includes a CD with KBOO related radio coverage of the case. The zine ALIEN BOY is available for sale at Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak Street, Portland, Oregon 97201 or online. Just click the image above to get started. All proceeds from the sale go toward the production of the documentary ALIEN BOY.
Seventy percent of the interviews for ALIEN have been collected, transcribed, and the crew is on course to collect the remaining interviews before the end of February. Editing is scheduled to begin in March and should take three weeks. Intermittent with editing, cinematographer John Campbell will shoot cutaways of landscapes, still images and references to intersplice with interviews.
It has taken a long time, but over the year we’ve learned what happened to James Chasse, and also how both his life and death had an profound affect on the city of Portland. We hope, by early summer of 2009, to be ready to show ALIEN BOY to both Portland and the world.