Directed by Dr John Deery (PhD Cinematic Arts, MDes, BDes (Hons), PDGE)

John Deery is a creative practitioner and educator who works across multiple disciplines, including Filmmmaking, Music, Painting, Photography, Design, Digital Art and more. John has also been a founding member of several arts groups including the Creative Village Artists and Derry Creatives. He has a PDGE in Art Education, Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Design and Photography and a Ph.D in Cinematic Arts and Filmmaking. John currently lectures in Creative Media and Digital Filmmaking in Nerve Centre and Ulster University.

JACK (Deery 2019) was created as a final film for a Screen Production Research PhD in Cinematic Arts at Ulster University, along with the accompanying thesis and support materials. This Primary aim of the research project was to investigate ways in which we as filmmakers might represent issues of mental distress and suicidal ideation more constructively. Developing on the themes addressed in the short film DROP (2014), created as a final Masters degree film project, the primary objective of the final PhD research film JACK (2019) was to translate the protective theoretical principles of the Papageno Effect, proposed by Dr Thomas Niederkrotenthaler and colleagues at the Medical University of Vienna, into filmmaking practice.

Dr John Deery PhD

Implementing the Papageno Effect into filmmaking practice led to the creation of a film that conveys the protagonist Jack's mental distress and suicidal ideation, whilst avoiding any descriptive or imicable suicidal behaviour that could contribute to imitative Werther Effect suicidal behaviour.

Through the innovative use of video layering and editing techniques, lighting and colour, music and sound, JACK conveys extreme states of mental distress and implies suicidal intention, without depicting or detailing any imitable details of suicide method. The novel techniques and approaches employed in the creation oF JACK represent a departure from traditional cinematic representations of suicide that not only minimises the risk of imitative Werther Effect suicides, but also promotes character resilience, help-seeking and recovery as a positive alternative outcome to suicidal crises.

By on-screen modelling of protective behaviours and providing a range of helplines and resources for anyone in need, JACK serves as an example of how filmmakers are able to translate multidisciplinary research into more constructive filmmaking practice concerned with mental distress and suicidal ideation.

Read PhD Thesis

JACK The Movie


PhD in Cinematic Arts - Screen Production Research

Research Aim

Putting the Papageno Effect into Filmmaking Practice

Research Outcome

JACK the Movie


Matt Deery
as Jack
Joe O'Hagan
as James
Rosie Patton
as Alice
John Deery
Writer / Director

WATCH JACK (Age 18+)


Click on any image to view

Albert Camus Quote
The Spiral
Jack Auditions
Jack Fails the Audition
Jack talks to James
Jack gets ready for Drama Group
Alice Leads Drama Group
Drinks after Rehearsals
Lacie walks out
Jack meets James and Alice
Alice vs Jack
Jack sent home
Jack Drunk Scene
Jack loses his Job
Jack's Spiral'
James Saved