What a whirlwind.
After years of creating online content, short documentaries and commercials for both TV and online, our first made-for-broadcast film goes to air tonight entitled, “I Shouldn’t Be Here: The Andrew Harris Story”. It premieres on TSN3 at 9 pm EST, and will air throughout the week on a variety of different TSN platforms.
This movie was conceptualized by both myself and it’s titular star, Andrew Harris of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After several years of working with Andrew on different projects affiliated with the CFL, him and I forged a great friendship that has resulted in the production of his documentary story. Knowing how incredible his backstory is in his road to success, I have always wanted to share it with the world – and because of that, I am forever indebted to him, knowing how difficult it is for anyone to open up about their past, never mind on a national stage with a national audience. Andrew was incredibly transparent in describing his plight, and we hope this film resonates with audiences across our great country.
The film was certainly a labour of love: although we had aid from some of our team back at the Sway office, and a few different vendors along the way (makeup, animation and TSN staff), the production was essentially created by three people: myself, Haris Usanovic and John Challinor. After two different shoots in Winnipeg and Vancouver over an 8-day period, mixed with a compilation of great archive access through Bell Media and his old high school, I believe the three of us have captured the spirit of Andrew’s journey.
Haris is my co-director in the movie, and his ability to capture life from behind the lens and tell it through his edits is absolutely incredible. It’s not often in life we get to work with people who share the same unique perspective on how to approach our work, and Haris is someone who truly understood my vision on this, and shared it. John brought his technical ability and sound wizardry to the table for this project (along with being second camera), and he did an absolutely incredible job in helping manipulate the viewers senses through what they hear. These guys are phenomenal and the best I know at what they do. The three of us wore the hats of about 15 crew members when capturing and producing this piece, and my gratitude towards them is hard to put into words. Thank you.
I must also thank Lester McLean and Kelly Medeiros of Bell Media for believing in myself and the team that we would create something people would want to watch.
In the end, we are a reflection of the effort we put into our work — this is something that I’m very proud to share with audiences and it is our sincere hope that this will help inspire someone, somewhere to strive for greatness, no matter how tough they have it. One of the best quotes spoken along the journey was by Andrew when he said, “pressure makes diamonds”. To see his story and how he rose above his difficult circumstances, and how he used that to fuel his passion for transforming his life into the upper echelons of sporting excellence, is nothing short of phenomenal.
Enjoy the film!