"Can you make a movie while having mental illness? Bud Clayman is doing it. Will making a documentary about your mental illness change your life?
Soon after college, mental illness interrupted Bud Clayman's dreams of a filmmaking career. Thirty years later, he's making the movie of his life. A story with universal relevance, OC87 is a wildly original film about pain and vulnerability, empowerment, and Bud's quest for belonging.
Throughout his youth, Bud's future was filmmaking. After college in Philadelphia, he headed to Hollywood in search of a break. Instead, he had a breakdown. As mental illness struck, it stuck. When distress and isolation set in, the diagnoses followed. For eight years, Bud lived in a therapeutic community.
Without waiting for his illness to vanish, Bud has reclaimed his quest as a filmmaker. As his camera chronicles the ups and downs of recovery, we also see the experience of what he calls "the fight inside my head." Behind the lens, a parallel journey unfolds as Bud the Director grapples with the challenges of making an incisive, highly personal documentary—a movie that he believes will transform his life.
When problems hit the fan, Bud sometimes feels defeated. More often, he draws strength and skills from therapy, humor, and relationships. Even so, he feels different, and the stigma of mental illness is fierce.
Meanwhile, directing this documentary film stretches Bud in ways that ultimately recast his quest. From the shadows of suffering, a portrait of imperfect courage emerges—a testament to acceptance, change, and hope.
The LA Times hailed OC87 as "uniquely inspiring." The New York Times called it "moving, penetrating" and The New York Post said, "it's easy to cheer his ultimate triumph.""