LOS ANGELES (AP) — What does it take to get an Oscar-nominated documentarian to direct a music video?
A call from Glenn Close.
That’s how Liz Garbus, director of “What Happened, Miss Simone?” came to make the video for “Ghost Story,” which is being released Friday in association with Close’s mental health advocacy organization, Bring Change 2 Mind .
“Ghost Story” is by 16-year-old Whitney Woerz , who wrote the song to help a friend overcome depression and thoughts of suicide. The six-minute video features teenagers sharing their experiences with depression, anxiety and other mental-health conditions.
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Garbus described the piece as a hybrid between documentary and music video.
“We storyboarded it out and went into a very long and intense casting process,” said Garbus, whose other recent credits include “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” and “Love, Marilyn.”
She sent out an open casting call for young people willing to open up about mental illness in a music video.
“There were a thousand kids who wanted to talk, who’d had experiences with depression or anxiety or OCD or bipolar or other disorders,” Garbus said. “And often times … the parents were the ones who wouldn’t let them come forward. What it pointed to was a generational divide in how comfortable we feel in talking about mental health issues.”
Close established Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010 to help develop an end to the stigma around mental illness.
Garbus said she was inspired by the bravery of the “heroes” who shared their stories and by the experience of trying something new behind the camera.
“I’d never done a music video,” she said, “so for me it was really fun to sink my teeth into it.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .