On a chilly damp day in the late fall of 2012, we gathered at a high school in London, Ontario. We were a volunteer video crew, a talented cast of drama students, a teacher, and me — the producer-writer, Cathleen MacDonald. Our mission was to shoot a short video to show how this drama series can tackle the stigma of mental illness.
Our fearless director, Alan Powell, wisely chose first to do the big classroom scene that required the entire cast to be fresh and eager. Getting this scene done gave everyone a sense of accomplishment and set us on a course to do the remaining scenes with confidence. The crew, led by videographer Aaron Wilcox, worked quickly and got the shots with finesse.
All went smoothly until rain detoured our plans to shoot the basketball scene on an outdoor court. I had wanted some exterior scenes to let the story open up and breathe. Unfortunately, the rain persisted and we were losing time. So we relocated that scene to a gymnasium where everyone did a terrific job — including our main character who shot a long distance basket! What a bonus! We didn’t have to ‘fake it’ with editing.
Director Alan turned the rainy day into an artistic opportunity with the scene of our troubled character walking alone. The mood was dramatically enhanced by the drizzle and the fading light of dusk.
The final video was combined with the wonderfully poignant song, “Life as a Salesman” by Gavin Slate. Early screenings prompted emotional responses as some viewers related to the story. That’s a good response in my opinion. It shows that people care.
Cast and crew making the concept video.