We’re making OUT OF MY HEAD, a feature documentary about the neurological disease migraine. Here’s why:
It’s huge. Over 300 million people are affected by migraine worldwide, 36 million in the U.S.
It’s economic. In Europe alone the United Nations estimates that 190 million workdays are lost to migraine, costIng $155 billion Euros per year.
It’s a women’s issue. 75% of people who get migraine are women. Is that why it’s a closeted, misunderstood disease, or why there’s very little government funding for research? It’s painful and debilitating. Some people experience hallucinations, some have stroke-like symptoms, some endure crippling pain and are bedridden for days. Its victims also suffer the psychic pain of isolation, stigmatization, and fear and anxiety induced by the total unpredictability of the disease.
But migraine is more than just a disease, and that’s why it makes for a fascinating film. Migraine’s intense pain and peculiar manifestations have had a remarkable impact on creativity and culture. From Alice’s utterances in Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland to Patti Smith’s epic poem Birds of Iraq, the work of artists influenced by its symptoms has elevated migraine from simply a disease to a kind of metaphysical interloper, affecting our perception of the world. In our film, you will be deeply affected by the portraits of our migraineurs, and intrigued by the remarkable investigations our neuroscientists are pursuing in an effort to understand how migraine works, as it permeates our culture.
In November we ran a Kickstarter campaign for $92,000 to begin editing our film, which reached goal in two weeks and exceeded all our expectations. Over 850 people responded, meeting near 140% of goal. We have been deep in editing for several months and are now raising funds to do pick up interviews, wrap up editing, and complete the film.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (December 2015)