OUTSIDER

After Maury Ornest's death at the age of 58, his sister Laura found more than 1400 paintings and thousands of pages of sketchbooks and journals in every room of his home and storage units. This discovery set her on an unexpected journey.

When they were children, their family lived a dream centered around baseball--fueled by Maury's natural talent and progress as he strove to make the major leagues. Yet when he a psychotic break in his early 20s, it dashed any hope for success and left Maury fighting to maintain a semblance of his former existence.

OUTSIDER tells two braided stories of a single family: How Laura set out to help Maury, attempting to hold their family together in the face of Maury's self-destructive actions and eventual withdrawal from their world, and Maury's story, discovered in his vibrant, wild art and intimate journal writings, read by author and comedian Gary Gulman.

OUTSIDER presents a rarely seen, unvarnished view of a family's painful journey with severe mental illness and captures the unexpected ways they found connection.

  • Ted Haimes
    Director
    PUNK!; DECADE; American Gambit
  • Nicole Lucas Haimes
    Writer
    Chicken People (SXSW 2016); The Good, Bad, The Hungry (Premiered Tribeca Film Festival 2019)
  • Nicole Lucas Haimes
    Producer
    The Good, The Bad, The Hungry
  • Ted Haimes
    Producer
  • Gary Gulman
    Key Cast
    "Maury Ornest (as told through his journals)"
    The Great Depresh
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    300,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Montclair Film Festival, Winner Audience Award for Short Films
    Montclair, NJ
    United States
    North American Premiere
Director Biography - Ted Haimes

Ted Haimes
Documentary Filmmaker/DP

As an accomplished documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, a two-time Peabody Award winner with multiple Emmy nominations, here’s a sample of the stories I’ve told:

Filmmaker/Cinematographer

DIAL H FOR HITCHCOCK
A celebration of the director’s pioneering exploration of pure cinema, with contemporary directors - including Robert Altman, Jonathan Demme, Brian De Palma, Wes Craven, Curtis Hanson - discussing his accomplishments and influence on their work.

VIETNAM REQUIEM
7 of the 28% of Vietnam Vets imprisoned for crimes committed after returning home recall stories of violence, trauma and loss. A personal eloquent look into what is now diagnosed as PTSD. Emmy/Peabody Awards.

DECADE
The Peabody and Emmy honored 80’s retrospective that set the style, tone and politics at MTV, for years to come.

DUANE MICHALS: 1939-1997
The artist revealed through his metaphysical photographic work. NY Film Festival.

100 FOOD PORN
Marilyn Minter at work in her studio. Reputed to be the first TV Commercial for an artist’s gallery show.

BRICE MARDEN
The enigmatic painter offers a rare glimpse into his process and his private world.

GARY KASPAROV’S AMERICAN GAMBIT
Chess Grandmaster Kasparov simultaneously takes on the 6 strongest US Junior Players to surprising results. WNET

DUANE MICHALS: 1939-1997
The photographer, revealed through his metaphysical photo-sequences. NY Film Festival

PUNK
Feature Documentary – a definitive history of the genre told by those who created it, nurtured it, and eventually killed it. Hamptons Film Festival. Filmfest DC.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

What drew me initially to Maury Ornest’s life story was my own history- my struggles with alcoholism, depression, and the impact of mental illness on my family of origin. When I first walked into his home and came face to face with the more than a thousand paintings that filled the space, I felt like I was stepping out of this world and into an extraordinarily tender and stymied mind.

When I looked at his work and how he faced his fear, anxiety, and isolation, I discovered a reflection of my own -- and believed I could convey his life with compassion, understanding, and perhaps even joy.

From the start, I felt this would be a blessed project, one of those films that comes together as if powered by a mystical energy. That was not to be the case.

Early in the schedule, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a body blow that left me wobbly for some months as I struggled to understand what my life would be like from that point on.

Soon after, the pandemic hit and shut us down for months. When we did return to work, it was editing in a way I had never done before. Editor, Assistant Editor, Writer, and I each worked from separate spaces. The combination of Parkinson’s and remote work was like swimming in Jell-O — everything required more effort and produced slower results.

This was followed by a lung cancer diagnosis and treatment with chemo and radiation. All the while, work on OUTSIDER continued. Chemo brain and profound fatigue led me to rely on my creative partners in a way I never had before.

I could not have imagined it would take almost three years from my first introduction to Maury Ornest to complete the film. Along the way, I struggled with the usual creative challenges of making a film about real life but also the challenge of feeling myself slowly fading away, unable to harness the focused energy I experience as a filmmaker. Communicating ideas and inspiration to my colleagues and, from there, onto film, which had always been an energetic and ecstatic experience, now become unpredictable and uncertain. I needed to face my shortcomings and emotions. The silver lining is these difficulties helped me to arrive at a deeper understanding of what Maury, his sister Laura and their family experienced – being wrenched suddenly from one life to another - having to find a way to cope with challenging circumstances.

Maury endured a life of extreme trauma and frustration, yet what he longed for is what many long for – family, connection, love, purpose, and ultimately peace.