Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Monday, Jun. 27, 2016
Oscar & DGA-Nominated Documentarian Liz Garbus Directs Her 1st Music Video
In this Feb. 8, 2016 file photo, Liz Garbus poses for a portrait at the 88th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Clip is released in association with health advocacy organization Bring Change 2 Mind
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What does it take to get an Oscar-nominated documentarian to direct a music video?

A call from Glenn Close.

That’s how Liz Garbus, director of “What Happened, Miss Simone?” came to make the video for “Ghost Story,” which was released Friday (6/24) in association with Close’s mental health advocacy organization, Bring Change 2 Mind .

“Ghost Story” is by 16-year-old Whitney Woerz, who wrote the song to help a friend overcome depression and thoughts of suicide. The six-minute video features teenagers sharing their experiences with depression, anxiety and other mental-health conditions.

Garbus described the piece as a hybrid between documentary and music video.

“We storyboarded it out and went into a very long and intense casting process,” said Garbus, whose other recent credits include “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” and “Love, Marilyn.”

Garbus sent out an open casting call for young people willing to open up about mental illness in a music video.

“There were a thousand kids who wanted to talk, who’d had experiences with depression or anxiety or OCD or bipolar or other disorders,” Garbus said. “And often times ... the parents were the ones who wouldn’t let them come forward. What it pointed to was a generational divide in how comfortable we feel in talking about mental health issues.”

Close established Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010 to help develop an end to the stigma around mental illness.

Garbus said she was inspired by the bravery of the “heroes” who shared their stories and by the experience of trying something new behind the camera.

“I’d never done a music video,” she said, “so for me it was really fun to sink my teeth into it.”

Garbus is a two-time Best Feature Documentary Oscar nominee---as director/producer for What Happened, Miss Simone? this year and for The Farm: Angola in 1999. She also earned a DGA Award nomination for Oustanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for What Happened, Miss Simone?

RadicalMedia produced “Ghost Story.”

Credits for ScreenWork: 

Client Bring Change 2 Mind Production RadicalMedia LLC Liz Garbus, director; Jennifer Heath, Frank Scherma, exec producers; Igor Martinovic, DP; Glenn Rosenstein, producer; Andrew Krasniak, production manager; Tommaso Ortino, production designer; Carisa Kelly, styling. Music & Lyrics Whitney Woerz Editorial Outpost Digital Tim Ziegler, editor. Casting Real Casting Outreach Liz Lewis