A documentary about an overworked family physician pushed to the brink, and primary care in America—in a medical system gone wild.
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK - The Mercer Street Medical Case
A Documentary Film
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK is a documentary that is based on how the modern medical model mess has affected your family doctor by messing with my family doctor. A new film by Paul Hasegewa Overacker, (H-O). His last feature documentary, GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN, a film the New York Times said was: "At once a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse, bittersweet autobiography and witty trip down art-world memory lane..."
Synopsis for Mercer St. Medical Case
Dr. Daryl Isaacs is a successful, respected physician, a married family man with three grown children. Many people remember Dr. Isaacs as a co-star of SUPER SIZE ME, during which he gives director Morgan Spurlock his dire prognosis if he continues to gorge on a Big Mac diet. He lives a seemingly comfortable life, commuting from his lakeside home in Connecticut to his very busy practice in Manhattan. After 30 years of practicing medicine, 10 years in the ER and 20 years as an internist and general practitioner, he’s suddenly faced with crude reality: financial ruin. He cannot afford the new lease, which has literally doubled overnight for his sprawling ground floor Soho practice. He’s 60 years old, already works longer hours than ever, with more patients than ever, more paperwork than ever, and less net income than ever, due to the shortfall of insurance payouts.
Isaacs hits the wall, because the ground’s shifted tectonically under his feet, and he can pinpoint the symptoms of a medical system gone wild. It’s made his profession almost unbearable, but he’s not going down without a fight. He calls on Paul, (the uninsured patient/filmmaker that owes him one) to come to the office ASAP and record what is happening and within days Paul is there videotaping.
He has a team of support in his wife, colleagues and staff at the practice, particularly his younger partner, dermatologist Dr. Sapna Westley. It's a “run and gun” real-time documentary with Paul H-O embedding himself at the clinic and documenting how the “medical-industrial complex” is eating away at primary healthcare providers. Will Mercer Street Medical survive?
How can I donate and be a part of the film?
Please click the button. It doesn’t matter where you live, anyone can donate. Your donation will not be charged until or if we meet our goal. If we don't meet our goal, that will have a deleterious effect on our emotional state. The shock and depression, angst, a profound sense of having gone off track is likely. If we make it, we still have months of work in production, and the long process of post production. It's a documentary on a subject that's tough as nails. We have questions. Who doesn't? Help us shine a light on the day-to-day work by a group of people that are challenging a non-system of health. (and some that aren't)
The Documentary Filmmaking Process is Methodical, Unpredictable, and Hairball
H-O was covering the New York art scene of the 90’s for a sometimes nerve wracking cable show called Gallery Beat Television which provided the material for the first feature length art documentary of its kind, Guest of Cindy Sherman. Irreverent as it was funny, and had a loose perspective on the toll of unbalanced relationships, manners, high art attitudes that one suspected but had not seen in a documentary. Guest of Cindy Sherman was directed by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue. It opened at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 with six sold-out screenings, co-produced by the Sundance Channel (where it is still is in rotation), screened to sold-out Hot Docs Soup in Toronto and the Jacob Burns Film Center in New York. It’s been around. The film went theatrical in 2009 and is available as a signed DVD pledge gift. With John Waters, Molly Ringwald, Eric Bogosian, Cindy Sherman, Carol Kane, Robert Longo, Eli Broad, Charles Clough, David Ross, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Danny DeVito, Roberta Smith, Jerry Saltz, Charles Finch, Cathy Lebowitz, Walter Robinson, Julian Schnabel, and more.
Inside the Project - The Disappearing Family Doctor - Luck in Work - Finding a Research Director/Producer and More
Paul: From the outset of taping the first months of Mercer St. Medical Case, I’d started assembling the footage taped, the first interview with Dr. Isaacs as he machine guns the whole system of American health care on the first day of shooting. After three weeks of taping and editing I come up with the first test trailer at 3:40 minutes. Dr. Issacs lays out the reasons why the situation is much worse for family doctors now, but I have to see if those reasons are verifiable and to some degree I do, but after another month I have enough material to create another connecting test trailer #2 at 7:22 mins to bring in the staff and patients.
Every bit of footage in a documentary has to be catalogued and the dialogue transcribed. I never had the time to bring in anyone to help because the game was on and there was no financing. At least I had good medical care in case something broke down. I was shooting, writing, researching, and scrambling for side jobs. I’d posted the trailers on YouTube as a beacon, and after a few months I was contacted by Ken Kambara, Ph.D. and a health policy researcher. Ken had seen Guest of Cindy Sherman in San Francisco, really liked it, looked to see what I was doing now, watched my Mercer Med trailers, and through Facebook asked if I needed some research and help. He saw my beacon and within weeks he moved to New York City to work on producing the film.
Do you have a primary doctor? Are you a doctor or in the medical field? What is your experience as a patient? How much do you pay for insurance?
Do you have a doctor? You may not have a problem with your doctor, or your health provider but enough people do, so that it cannot be ignored. We may focus on Dr. Isaacs because he generated this documentary, but we have to take it further in talking to other doctors, patients, providers, medical staff, pharmaceutical sales people and insurance representatives. We are collecting real stories and have funny 2¢ checks from insurance companies to Dr. Isaacs to prove it. How much did it cost for a provider to write a check for 2 cents? We are going to find out. We already know that the general practitioner is the best and lowest cost source of medical help for the most people, and yet the family doctor is being systematically eliminated by big business. Still, the best way to make an effective compelling story is to focus on a personal level with real people. These people take care of us, and we want people to know why we need them.
Our Website is More Than a Website and the Film is More Than a Film
Our research found evidence that health care providers are concerned with the future of medicine in the US. Our website at http://mercermedfilm.com provides really sexy information like aggregated articles and woo woo statistics. We have informative interviews with doctors like dermatologist Dr. Sapna Westley, and little inside info bits from science-based health professionals. The websites provide a feel for the material and a certain flair of fun for a business that has its share of challenges, but triumph in the human will to understand life.
We intend on using a wide array of social media tools in order to share what we’re doing and garner feedback from you—our audience, our contributors, and our fans. Think of it as a wormhole to the world of The Mercer St. Medical Case. "Like" our Facebook page to share and receive fresh updates on the project and look for us on Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, flickr, and Google+. There are links to all of these on our website.
Our Pledge Level Offerings
Mercer St. Medical Case DVD - Rough One
Rough One is an early version of a final cut. It can be ready in 8 months, maybe sooner, depending on funding, which makes everything move faster. because funding makes everything move faster. This is a real cut, it can be submitted to film festivals, investors or studios for consideration. Signed by the director, and comes with a letter of thanks.
Custom Reward Offerings of the Artistic Kind from Those Involved in the Project
Our artists are gallery, museum, and internationally tested professionals of fine arts and part of the Mercer Street Medical art collection.
Paul H-O (LTD signed edition print for Mercer St. Medical Case) has also been a stress tested NY gallery/museum artist and has written feature articles on art, book and film criticism for Art in America, Artnet.com Magazine, Very (UK) and the Surfer’s Journal. Paul is creating a signed and numbered “2 Cent Check” LTD edition digital print - image size approx. 3”x 8” on reasonably fine 8.5” x 11” inch paper. It's based on an actual insurance check (see above). For more on Paul H-O, click here.
Spencer Tunick - (Special LTD edition, at 5 x 7 inches and 8½ x 11 inches, signed photograph created specifically for the Mercer St. Medical Case) Spencer is world renown for his Greenpeace work, and for his large scale installations involving literally thousands of people from the latest Dead Sea Project to Grand Central Station. Subject of two HBO films, collected by major international museums, Spencer’s worked with H-O since 1994, from GBTV to Guest of Cindy Sherman. His art is in Dr. Issac's Mercer Street Medical Collection, work that was featured at the former clinic at 55 Mercer Street in Soho, NYC. Check out his website to see his work. Spencer is creating a very special site-specific photographic art work exclusively for this production. This is incredible. It’s also not available anywhere unless the goal is met.
Actual Spencer Tunick Limited Signed Photograph Image Forthcoming
Brian Alfred - (Special LTD edition signed print for Mercer St. Medical) Brian has solo exhibitions by Max Protetch Gallery (NY), Mary Boone Gallery (NY), & Haunch of Venison (UK, SWI, NY). He is in the collection of The Whitney Museum (NY), The Solomon Guggenheim Museum (NY), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), Albright-Knox Museum (NY), and more, including the Mercer St. Medical Collection (NY). Click on the link to see his award winning website. You can see him on H-O's YouTube Channel.
Dr. Isaacs from Brian Alfred 9 x12 inch signed and numbered digital print
Fred Tomaselli - (LTD edition print). Fred is represented by James Cohan Gallery (NY) and Jay Jopling Gallery (LON). In 2010, a major retrospective of his work was shown at The Brooklyn Museum (traveling show). His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), The Whitney Museum (NY), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), Museum of Contemporary Art (CA), Carnegie Museum of Art (PA), and Mercer St. Medical Collection. Fred is one of the Paul’s longstanding friends.
Fred Tomaselli, AP 1/20, silkscreen and digital print (one only)
Lisa Levy - (Limited edition signed edition print, medically approved) AKA Dr. Lisa, conceptual artist, official Gawker artist, award winning art director, co-host of GalleryBeat Talk Show and CEO of Lisa Levy Industries. She is the Jewish Jenny Holzer and her work is a part of Dr. Isaac's Mercer St. Medical Collection.
Lisa Levy - signed and numbered 8.5x11 inch digital print
The Theme Song is “Red in the Face” by Don Chambers & Goat.
Don Chambers is a known entity in Athens, Georgia and we're offering his 2004 CD as a reward. A master songwriter with an arsenal of instrumental abilities and a gritty vocal croon that local bands like the Drive By Truckers like to have close by. Conceived, mapped out, circumnavigated, and recorded at UNDONE. Produced by Andy Cherewick. Mixed by Chris Grehan. Mastered by Jeff Capurso at City Mastering. http://www.myspace.com/donchambers
The Art of Mercer St. Medical-Mini-Documentary DVD
We're creating a special mini-documentary made about the Mercer St. Medical art collection and interviews with some of its key artists. Dr. Isaacs also talks about the work, it will be an all access video document and it will be insanely multi-dimensional! You can help make this separate but important document a part of Mercer Street Medical history. Before the old Mercer Street Medical closed, Paul H-O videotaped and shot stills of all the artwork he could find. Producer pledges for on-screen credits will help make this a reality.
Why we need this funding?
This Kickstarter campaign is meant to get this production closer to completion. Currently, we have over 32 hours of footage but we need to keep shooting, engaging in wide research to find the truth, replace worn equipment, update software, run the social networks, and transcribe, log, and edit the footage we already have, as well as shoot additional footage. We are a lean, guerilla enterprise and have the experience to get the most out of a limited budget. Nevertheless, production, editing, post-production, and marketing are costly and the more we raise with this Kickstarter, the better the finished product will be and more people will be able to see our documentary.
Why should you help us make this movie?
Because we would like to see an entertaining, insightful film about a “country doctor” in Manhattan and think you would too. We’ve already expended thousands of dollars of our money and countless hours in pre-production in researching the subject We think the stories of Dr. Issacs, his colleagues, staff, and his patients are compelling human dramas that speak to the larger issues of what’s going on with healthcare in the US. We are doing this documentary to tell this story before it’s too late and we hope that we start a dialog on where healthcare is going. Do we want industrialized medicine or should we try to hold onto the increasingly endangered notion of the family doctor?
Can I contact you?
What is our Kickstarter goal?
We’re trying to be realistic so we’ve set our goal at $25,000. This will be our first Kickstarter experience, but it really will help get us on the road to get us to the first final cut that is ready to be audience tested.
What happens if the money isn’t raised in time?
Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands. Your credit card or debit card will not be charged if we don't reach our goal.
How much is shipping?
If you are within the US, shipping is free. Absolutely nothing--we'll take care of the costs domestically.
*The cost for shipping to international addresses is $8 for all rewards levels under $500. Please add this amount to your contribution. We will ship First Class International.
There are credits available for for Associate Producer, can I be an Executive Producer?
While other projects offer Executive Producer credit, we feel we cannot do so through a Kickstarter campaign. We can and are able to offer an Executive Producer position and above-the-line accreditation but we would have to speak to you directly about this.
More about us and who we are
The Mercer Street Medical Case production team consists of Paul H-O (Producer/Director) and Kenneth M. Kambara, Ph.D. (Producer/Researcher) and Sono Osato (Producer). Paul’s YouTube channel hosts samples of his video production.
The project website is at: http://mercermedfilm.com and is set up to use a wide array of social media tools for the duration of the pre-production, production, post-production, and marketing phases of the project. Here are the links to our bios and the bios of the participants at Mercer Medical Clinic.
We are using the web presence of production house GalleryBeat Media for business development, research, and financing purposes. GalleryBeat's background information and our history dating back to 1993 is on the “About” page.
Check out the Mercer Medical Case Facebook page. Click "Like" to receiveupdates and information on the project, as it develops.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.