“My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.”
The Hon. Jack Layton
Just five days after his historic letter was released, we were tasked with the organization and production of this State Funeral in Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall. With Kathleen Monk, Drew Anderson, Erin Jacobson and election video collaborator Aaron Floresco with direction from Olivia herself and her friend Nancy, we pulled off this first piece. Framed as a video eulogy from Olivia about Jack, about his life and his legacy to Canadians.
I considered it an honour to have worked on the video for Jack’s state funeral. We had limited time to pull this together. I consider this piece a personal triumph; it was a privilege to have helped build the narrative of this historic time both within the party and country. Without Jack, I wouldn’t have known this. I am proud to have worked with him, speak with him and to be inspired by him and the party.
I am pretty sure all of us made it through with very little sleep the entire week leading up to the state funeral and for myself, none for the two nights ahead of it. Aaron and I were hunkered into a small room backstage in Roy Thompson Hall for the 24 hours before the start of the proceedings, dealing with one rented Mac Pro that started eating itself, causing us migrate all of our media and having to rebuild the edit on to a newer rented Mac Pro system. Which also allowed us to move the audio mix off once we had a picture lock freeing Aaron up to do the final audio mix, while I polished the photo animations and colour timing.
The entire 48 hours before were fuelled entirely by the collected intensity and our personal need to “get it right.” And, while all of that was happening, the entire country was mourning Jack. In our self-containment, we had been missing most of what was happening outside. Even during the proceedings, we were still inside Roy Thompson without any guage of how many people were gathered and how our work was affecting them, or helping them.
I am speaking for myself, but I don’t think it’s incorrect for me to say that… For us (the people on the production side), this was a kind of therapy. We dove into the production without the expectation of being able to come up for air and we dedicated every moment we could into trying to make something beautiful and unique. Something, to help us join the rest of Canada, in honouring and especially mourning Jack.