“I have dealt with depression and bipolar for a good part of my life,” says Mark Hunter, vocalist for iconic Cleveland, Ohio-based heavy metal band Chimaira. “It’s probably safe to say that most Chimaira fans understand that the band’s music, lyrics, and live performances were my cathartic outlet.”
On October 10, 2018 – World Mental Health Day – Mark Hunter will share his personal story about utilizing his art to battle personal struggles and bipolar disorder in a heartfelt upcoming documentary, Down Again. The film is directed by Nick Cavalier – also recognized for directing Derek Hess‘ award-winning Forced Perspective documentary – and will be free and available to stream on October 10 at Down Again Film
Read an in-depth interview about Down Again and view clips of the film via Loudwire
Mark Hunter and director Nick Cavalier met on a panel speaking about Mental Health and Creativity monitored by Dr. Patrick Runnels (featured in the documentary) during the Acting Out! festival in Cleveland – a festival put on in 2017 to raise mental health awareness. After hearing his story at the panel, Nick approached Mark to create a short film around his ability to cope with mental illness in the public spotlight through the art. Down Again juxtaposes Chimaira‘s history with Mark‘s life events and lyrics, presenting an intimate timeline through the rise and fall of the band and Mark‘s ability to channel it into art. The film also explores the catharsis created by the act of making music and art and how the end result affects the fans.
“I was a bit apprehensive [to do this documentary] at first,” continues Mark Hunter. “Not because I am unwilling to share my story, but more so because there are thousands of people infinitely more interesting than me. And worse off than me. But in the end, I am thankful to have been a part of this short documentary. It captured an extremely critical moment in time. The rekindling of friendships with my former bandmates was one of the most significant healing moments of my entire life.”
Mark adds, “It’s unfortunate to note the past couple of years have been tough on the music community. We lost a lot of talented people to their struggles with depression. I hope the viewers of our film will take away a story of healing and feel the impact of dealing with mental health issues head-on.”
In addition to interviews with Mark Hunter and those in his life about his mental health, upbringing, and the formation/rise of Chimaira, the documentary also includes high-quality video footage of the band’s 15th Christmas show at the Agora in Cleveland (2017), featuring the band’s original line-up – marking their first performance together after nearly seven years of separation.
Mark Hunter explains, “This is not a story about Chimaira, although fans of the band will be excited to see familiar faces and hear some of their favorite songs. The audience will get a glimpse into my personality and how I use art to better deal with the harder moments of life.”
In addition to direction of photography by Tyler Clark, the film also features a devastating live audio mix by Chimaira guitarist Rob Arnold.
Not only does Down Again explore Mark‘s art via Chimaira, but also his photography – visiting Mark‘s world not only through his figurative lens, but his literal one. He adds, “Since the band ended in 2014, photography has been my passion and a great way to fill my time with positivity.”
Down Again was made possible by a generous donation from The Centers for Family and Children, and marketing support via Hope For The Day.
About Nick Cavalier:
Nick Cavalier is a director of films, commercials, branded content and music videos. A visual and character-focused storyteller, Nick is known for his high production value docu-driven films with poetic hero-centered themes. Nick has been honored with awards and selections at festivals such as SXSW, Palm Springs, and Cleveland International. His work is featured in multiple national publications including New York Times, VICE, Shorts TV, Devour, HYPEBEAST, Alternative Press, Funny Or Die, G4, MTV, Fast Company, Juxtapoz Magazine and many more. In addition to the praise received for Forced Perspective, Nick is lauded for his short film about vinyl record resurgence, Gotta Groove Records.