17 May, 2007

Sentimental Journies by Bagpipes

Siobhan Shaw — Casting Director and Associate ProducerWOW! What an amazing day I had on set today. I have been working on this project for a year and today was the most fun and the most emotional I have had to date. We started our day at the ranch with Samuel Doyle playing ‘Ozzie Livingston’ and once that was finished we packed up the cars and headed to Summerland Yacht Club where Kennedy ambushed me , asking me to write for the blog. With that request, I felt a wave of apprehension wash over me as I was wondering what in hell was I going to say. The excitement and tribulations of the last few weeks of preparation and the first few days of the filming, the fact that I haven't been able to sleep much, and being faced with Mother's Day less than 5 months after my own Mother's death, had left me exhausted and pretty much brain-dead. Now I look back and wonder how I could have been so foolish because today was absolutely incredible. The best day so far. For those of you that missed it, I am dreadfully sorry.

We were set up on the rocky breakwater along the edge of the lake with ‘Ozzie’ in full Scottish regalia [image, below right] — there's something about a man in a kilt that screams bravery. He began playing the bagpipes.

There are two things that make me bawl like a newborn: the song “Sentimental Journey” and the mournful tunes of the bagpipes. They have been a thread throughout my life connecting my past, present and future.

I would sing “Sentimental Journey” for my parents’ friends at dinner parties when I was a little girl with hopes and dreams of becoming an entertainer. The wail of bagpipes were ever-present as I was growing up in Glengarry County, a Scottish stronghold in Ontario.

Samuel Doyle playing both ‘Ozzie Livingston’ and the bagpipes simultaneouslyThe song makes me cry because it is the same song my sisters and I sang to my Mum… "Seven / that's the time I leave at: seven / I'll be waiting up in heaven… da ta dada da dadada da…" as we held her close , and at 7 o'clock on the 17th of December (note today's date) she took her last breath.

The instrument brings tears to my eyes because the wail of a lone piper could be heard as my Father's funeral procession made its way to his final resting place.

Well, you can imagine , there I was sitting crossed legged on the craggy rocks with tears streaming down my face, everyone around me packing up the equipment to move to the next location (Shari took one look at me and was herself on the verge so this blog should get her). My emotion was raw and as I sat there I felt so connected to the grief Craig and Kennedy feel for their dear friend Keith.

Yet despite all the sadness the bagpipes brought, they also lifted me up and gave me courage, the same courage I know Kennedy and Craig must have had to embark on this great tribute to their friend (I wonder if they also build the piper's courage to walk around in public in a skirt?).

The day went from one extreme to the other with the afternoon bringing a thrilling speedboat ride over the waves of Lake Okanagan.

WOOOOOOOO-WHOOOOOOOO YEEEEEE-HOOOOOOOO! (as in the song Fergie sings)… Was that a gas… and it was my first time ever on this lake!

Kennedy and Craig, thank-you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. It has been amazing. I am honoured to help you make this movie in Keith's memory. As someone very dear to me said as he faced his battle with cancer, “love transcends death. It is the best thing you leave behind and the only thing you take with you.” How true (although it does sound like a verse from a greeting card). I end the day now with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

— Siobhan Shaw
Casting Director & Associate Producer, Okanagan

[oh and I also went shopping at Costco for food for crafty with Craig and Rob… and I have written a few articles for The Beast for local papers and magazines… and found some of the locations — sorry to the cast and crew for showing the guys Bertram Park and even sorrier if we end up having to re-shoot there — oh and, yeah, now I keep track of takes on set… have I forgotten anything…? I'm sure I have…]

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