Sophomore Piper Parks writes film about mental health: ‘Blue’

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Since May 2022 when she was announced the winner of Project Pigasus, now Project Constellation, sophomore creative writing major Piper Parks has been working on her film, “Blue.” According to Project Pigasus, the contest is a statewide film writing competition for high school students where they can have their screenplays turned into films. Parks said the film is about an artist, Oliver, struggling with depression and how it affects her as an artist as well as her journey in overcoming it. 

“The film ‘Blue’ is about this character named Oliver trying to see the color in life again as an artist. Her experience with depression had left her feeling colorless and on the edge of just like giving up on life,” Parks said. “But in a dream, she meets someone called Blue that resembles physically someone that she knows in her personal life who helps her realize that she needs to try to reach out for help and see things the way that she used to.”

When Parks was writing the script for the movie, she said she did not expect to win the contest. As a creative writing major, Parks said she did not have a lot of experience writing a film, but that it has become something she has dabbled in more and more since writing “Blue.” 

“[Working on the set of ‘Blue’] has been crazy … When I wrote it, I was not really expecting anything to come out of it. But then, when the production company announced that I had won their contest and started working with me, it was kind of therapeutic. I guess, because it’s written kind of about my own personal experiences,” Parks said. 

Parks said that working with the director, Emilie Flower, was a new experience. She said a lot of the work she did on set was working with Flower to create each shot to encapsulate what they both wanted. According to Parks, she wanted to make sure the film was accurately portraying what she wrote while Flower brought her expertise to the set.

Sophomore creative writing major Piper Parks poses with cast and crew at “Blue” premiere screening. Pictured from left to right: Art Director Geoff Ehrendreich, Actor for Blue Giovanni Axibal, Screenwriter Piper Parks, Actress for Oliver Ella Nelson, Actress for Mom Charity Anne Dehmer, Director Emelie Flower and First Assistant Director Matt Rudolf.
Photo contributed by Phoebe Shafer

The film is not yet available to the public, but Parks is hoping that it will be on Amazon Prime and Youtube. She said there has been a premiere for the cast and crew, as well as a screening at a student film festival in Bloomington. 

“I mean, my main hope is that people that have experienced similar things that I have, like mental illness and depression, [will] kind of feel less alone and [more] understood,” Parks said. “Because I mean, I have seen a couple of films that kind of made me feel that way. But me writing this myself and being at the age that I was at, kind of made it feel a little bit more real.”

According to Parks, she hopes the film encourages people to reach out and seek the help that they may need, especially people around her own age.

“I also really hope that it does make them think about a Blue in their lives as well,” Parks said. “Because I mean, even if they don’t have someone like that in their life, I hope that “Blue” can be that person for them.”

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