A group of teenagers who have experienced mental health struggles are coming together to create a new TV show called “The Slip.” Thanks to a generous donation of £9,000 from the Anglian Community Trust, two episodes of the show will be funded, with young people from Essex actively involved in the scripting, filming, and acting processes. Underdog Crew Studios, a not-for-profit organization, firmly believes in the power of filmmaking to empower individuals dealing with anxiety and depression. They hope that their work on “The Slip” will help alleviate some of the pressure on the NHS.
Over the past year, Underdog Crew Studios has been running filmmaking workshops specifically designed for teenagers aged 13 to 18. Now, sixteen young individuals are collaborating with industry professionals to produce “The Slip,” which has been compared to the popular 1990s TV show Byker Grove, known for launching the careers of Ant and Dec. These dedicated teenagers are committing their evenings and weekends to this project, demonstrating their passion and drive without expecting any financial compensation.
One of the participants, 16-year-old Luka, had been struggling with depression to the extent that they couldn’t attend school for a month. Luka vividly recalls spending most days in bed, simply staring at the ceiling. However, since joining the Underdog Crew, Luka’s life has taken a transformative turn. By taking on directing responsibilities and working in the wardrobe department, Luka has found a supportive community of friends who understand their struggles with depression, anxiety, and autism. Luka’s parent, Tanya, expresses gratitude for the positive change they have witnessed in their child, noting that Luka now has plans and aspirations for the future.
Dom ‘DB’ Morgan, the creative director of Underdog Crew Studios, firmly believes in the empowering nature of filmmaking. He acknowledges the mental health crisis prevalent in the country and emphasizes the importance of early intervention and empowerment as a means of reducing the long-term costs to the NHS. Morgan hopes that by targeting mental health issues at an earlier stage, organizations like his can make a positive difference in the lives of young people.
The two pilot episodes of “The Slip” are set to premiere at Colchester Arts Theatre on November 28. The ultimate goal of the project is to have the show broadcasted on television and shown in schools in the future. “The Slip” represents not only a creative outlet for these young individuals but also a platform to raise awareness about mental health issues and promote understanding and empathy among viewers.