By Scott Poggensee, Director/Producer
I have a confession to make. This is going to come as a shock to others, and to some it won’t at all. But … I was never bullied as a kid. A lot of people say that if you weren’t bullied, then you were bully. I do believe this to be the case in probably 99% of the situations out there. However, I’m proud that I can finally say … I’m part of the 1%.
When I was growing up, I went to a private Christian (Lutheran) school. It was the 1970’s in Southern California (shout out to my San Diego peeps!). I want to say it was just a different time back then — things like bullying didn’t happen. But honestly it really did. When I talk to people my age about their experiences with bullying (something I’m doing a lot lately while writing this film), they tell me about how they were bullied and how they saw it quite often with other kids.
Maybe I got lucky? Maybe the fact it was a Christian school made me less likely to be bullied? Maybe I was just an “average” kid and there was nothing really to bully me about? Even when I heard someone making fun of someone’s name (shout out to Chris Piss!), the most they could ever come up with for me was “Dan the Man”. Oh yea, I forgot most of you don’t know. My first name is Daniel and I go by my middle name, Scott. (Long story for another time!) Either way, I’m not really sure what it was, but I do feel very privileged to be one of the few people I know that wasn’t bullied in school. I hear about the stories of others and it just breaks my heart.
That brings me to where you come in. My point of this whole blog is not to gloat about how lucky I was, but actually just the opposite — at least when it comes to this project. Most good writers draw from their experiences to hyperbolize and expand upon them in order to make a good story. I can’t do that. I need you. I need your experiences. I need your stories of being bullied. I need to know how it made you feel, and ultimately how you escaped being one of the statistics of suicide. (I mean, after all, if you’re writing me an email I’m assuming you’re still alive!)
In addition to those first hand stories, I would also like to hear from some of you that had children that were bullied. I want to know how you and/or them handled the situation and what the result was. I need your experiences to draw upon to make this film great. No — to make this film world-changing.
My promise to you is that your identity will never be revealed. Your stories will never be associated with you. However, being able to draw upon your experiences will allow me to incorporate those “real-world” experiences into the film and help make it more realistic. I recently had dinner with a very nice lady and her son. We’ll call them Jill & Jack. Hearing how Jack was relentlessly bullied — no, tortured — in school just absolutely broke my heart. Luckily, we were able to talk about it and work some ways out to handle the situation and I’m happy to report that the situation has gotten better since then, and Jill is reporting that Jack is much happier and is starting to once again talk about the future and how bright it is for him.
This is why I want to make this film. This is why I feel like we can change the world. So I implore you, please reach out to me and tell me your story. It might be the reason we add something to the film that ends up saving someone’s life. Thank you for your time.