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Dead Boy: A Documentary about Overdose in Canada

Dead Boy is an independent Canadian documentary about opioid deaths in Canada. The film is directed by Tracey Cochrane. It is important how Tracey was inspired to make a documentary film about a very important issue in the Canadian society. She spoke to many people and researched the subject and then started shooting Dead Boy about overdose and opioid crisis in Canada. It is our pleasure to speak to her regarding the process of making this film.

What motivated you as a filmmaker to work on Dead Boy?

This is not only a documentary but my story. My husband and I came across a young boy on the street that we thought was sleeping only to find out a short time later that he had actually died from an overdose, he died alone on the street . I had made a choice to walk by that young boy out of fear and ignorance. I couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that boy all alone, I finally just got up out of bed and wrote down what had happened and how I was feeling by five am I had written the documentary dead boy. This was emotionally the hardest film I have ever made.

Your documentary is about the opioid deaths in Canada. How did you research this subject and why was this theme important to your work?

I talked to a lot of people and I was surprised that every single person I spoke to took the time to talk to me and share their experiences. I spoke with many parents who had lost their child to overdose.

In my research for the film I reached out to people who work on the frontlines for interviews. I spoke with Dr. Mark Lysyshyn , Medical Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health, Detective Kal Dosanjh, VPD and Kids Play and Leslie Mcbain of Moms Stop The harm and so many more. Government statistics and other information are widely available on the internet on this topic.

How did you start making films and what was the first film project you created as a director?

I started as a volunteer at the local Shaw Cable public access studio. I produced a 15 minute monthly show called Tracey’s Traxx, featuring local musicians and entertainers.

My first film project was a feature documentary called Calm in Chaos, which was about the struggles first responders and military face with PTSD.

How difficult is it to fund independent films and what were some of the challenges of making this independent film?

Funding? LOL

I have been self funding my work so far and find the process of getting funding for the work very daunting, so its a lot of packed lunches and camping out.

Do you prefer to only work on documentary genres? Why?

I love documentary films. I am most passionate about bringing awareness to topics that are important and need a platform as well as a compassionate lens.

What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?

Our next film is titled Fight, Flight or Funny. it’s about a group of comedians traveling through northern BC and Vancouver and the ups and downs they experience with their craft.

Why do you make films and how can documentary cinema have an impact on society?

I am a very private person, but filmmaking is a way for me to express myself as well as a creative outlet. The topics I film are very important to me and I like to portray that in my films.

I think documentary cinema can have an amazing impact on society, and that’s why the film festivals are so important.



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