The story of a suicide survivor is not an easy one to tell.
But Bobby Chase is making a go of it, weaving his own experience and commentary with a bit of humor to make it easier to swallow.
A decade ago, the Mechanicville native and filmmaker found the body of his brother, Jacob, in the basement of the house they were living in together, and Bobby Chase became, in his own words, a suicide survivor.
“I’ve always wanted to somehow tell this story,” Chase said.
He’s finally found a way to tell it through “Jacob: The Story of a Suicide Survivor,” a short film he created. It’s been selected as a finalist for the People’s Pixel Project, and will be screened at the Strand Theater in Hudson Falls on April 22 and the Mechanicville Public Library on April 27.
Writing the script for “Jacob” was difficult, “but it was good to get it out,” Chase said. “I went to go see a therapist once, but it didn’t work out.”
In a way, the film is the first time the story is being brought to light, though it is careful to leave out details. “Jacob” isn’t graphic in any way, and Chase said there are definitely some gaps in the story line that people can fill in as they see fit.
It’s all shot in Mechanicville, in the cemetery where Jacob is buried and his house, which has become a family house, Chase said.
“It was the first time I had been in that basement in 10 years,” Chase said.
Although Chase doesn’t shy away from the darkness of the experience, he added hints of light humor to the film.
“It’s how I handle life, in a way,” Chase said.
Even in a scene when Jack Boggan, the actor who plays Chase, is calling 911 after finding his brother’s body, he asks the dispatcher, “How are you?” as if they’re having a chat, then swears and berates himself for doing that.
The humor also honors his brother, who was definitely the life of the many parties he attended.
“He was an all-around fun guy,” Chase said. Family members continue to tell funny stories of Jacob’s hijinks over the years. But there were dark moments, too. Looking back, Chase believes Jacob might have been bipolar and had not been diagnosed.
At the Mechanicville Public Library screening, Chase will be raising money for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention through donations and food and beverages.
“Some people have gone through this and [I hope] the film can help,” Chase said, adding that might even be just to let people know they’re not alone in dealing with it.
At that screening, Chase will also be taking questions and will talk about the experience of filming. He admits it will be difficult because it will be in his hometown, with people who knew his brother and know the back story. But it’s a story that should be told and revisited, to help heal and, as Chase said, discover the importance of humor amid life’s darkest moments.
To learn more about the film or any of Chase’s other projects, visit nextevomedia.com.
WHEN: 2-4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Strand Theater, Hudson Falls
WHEN: 7-9 p.m. Friday, April 27
WHERE: Mechanicville Public Library
TICKETS: Free. Donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will be accepted.
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