By Rachelle Delaney, Editorial Production Coordinator

It Takes a Family is a short film that explores the origins, inner workings and accomplishments of the David Suzuki Foundation. Directed by filmmaker Claudia Molina, it takes viewers into the heart of our Vancouver offices and introduces them to the people whose knowledge, ideas and drive keep us going. Much of the movie is narrated by co-founder Tara Cullis-Suzuki, a veritable encyclopedia of Foundation history.

Jenny Lee Silver, our intrepid web strategy coordinator, has a background in music production and formal training in radio and TV. That's why she was called upon to act as the film's production coordinator for four months last winter. Recently, she divulged some behind-the-scenes details of the process.

Filming It Takes a Family
Jenny Lee Silver and Claudia Molina film David Suzuki for the short film It Takes a Family (Credit: Janice Williams).

Her job entailed, among other things, finding and renting all kinds of equipment, organizing interviews, setting up mics and lighting, and being present at nearly every shoot. Silver also took on the role of boom operator and occasional second camera shooter. Though she'd never done this kind of work, she was a good fit for the position; having worked for the Foundation for five years, she could provide crucial background info on the organization and its people.

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Though she says it was a fairly smooth process, she admits that the intimidation factor of working with some high-profile interview subjects was a challenge. There were surprises too; the film was originally envisioned as a simple introduction to the organization, but it quickly blossomed into a film full of heart. As the interview subjects recall the Foundation's most meaningful moments, there are moments of profound emotion, both hopeful and sombre.

Near the end of the film, for instance, Cullis-Suzuki makes a grave statement about the future of humanity. Silver recalls discussing it with Molina and insisting she include it, since it was "the crux of the film."

The best part, she says, was seeing the pieces come together— those hours and hours of video distilled down to a simple, poignant 15 minutes.

It Takes a Family will be included in the Force of Nature DVD, to be released this fall. In the meantime, you can watch it here.

July 20, 2011

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Aug 10, 2011
5:04 PM

Good and informational. Should never despair or be apathetic since that never accomplishes a single thing. Just the passion of helping nature on this planet is enough to keep most of us like-minded people vibrant. Myself I see the endless focus on only each human's personal survival, even if that includes the survival of immediate family members, as the road to ruin for nature and detrimental to humans themselves. If that's all humans live as and for, then the planet ends up being the way it is today and will be in the future.

Aug 10, 2011
1:48 PM

What a beautiful overview of your good work, thanks for sharing a peek behind the curtain. I loved it! Good luck with all your current projects, DSF family, stay hopeful...and remember that people are eager to make the world a better place...focus on the followers, not the leader. xo

Jul 26, 2011
9:39 PM

Congradulations everyone ! You're doing a great job to make people more conscious about the only earth we have ... You're commitment is essential and has a real impact. This short movie is very good to know more about the David Suzuki Foundation's projects. People need to know who is behind the scene and what they are doing. Encore toutes mes félicitations en espérant que nos Amis francophones pourront le visionner en français avec le sous-titrage. Pauline

Jul 25, 2011
11:20 AM

Dear Mr. David Suzuki,
Thank you so much for being the voice of Planet Earth, Mother, Child & all Mankind.We must take care of each other,stay humble & grateful.Regards Sheila McPhee

Jul 22, 2011
8:29 PM

Very inspiring film. Good work and I do think there is hope for the future.

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