Watch the 10-minute compilation documentary of "Amazing Grace" videos from across Canada. Over 500 videos were sent in, and this video includes segments from all received by Dec. 1, 2008.
Senior Producer, Anglican Video
Being a part of the “Amazing Grace” project team from the beginning has been a fun and inspiring aspect of my work for the past year. I already have the best job at National Office – as senior producer for Anglican Video I get to meet a lot of wonderful and interesting people and hear amazing stories on a regular basis.
Early on in this project, I committed myself to making a “compilation” video of what we hoped would be many Amazing Grace contributions that would come in from all across the Canadian Church. The videos began to trickle in last spring and from the start, our team was impressed and inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm with which people approached this project.
After Nov. 23 -- Amazing Grace Sunday -- when the trickle turned into a flood and we could suddenly barely stay on top of the logistics of the project, I began to panic.
I already had some ideas for a creative approach (helped a lot by an idea my colleague Bev Murphy tossed at me) but the sheer volume of videos was scary. As I screened them all, one by one, late into the nights, I wondered how I would find a way to honour them all – these beautiful faces and voices of people from all walks of life and so many different communities.
The soldiers in Kandahar singing the line “through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come” moved me to tears. A small girl, guiding the child next to her with her finger on the page; the faces of elderly people in a nursing home who stood with dignity to sing this hymn; the wealthiest parishes with magnificent choirs and the humblest of congregations without even a church to call home – all, all all moved me and challenged me to share their stories with the world.
My brilliant and normally unflappable editor of 15 years, Tim Ford, actually yelled at me on the first day of our edit. He swore too. A lot. “This is impossible”, he said. I had never heard him say that before but it was pretty overwhelming. All the tapes in different formats, the audio all over the place – it was a technical nightmare.
I will spare you the details but in the end, as you will see, we worked it out. Even Tim, a decidedly non-religious kind of a guy, thinks we have a miracle. Segments from every single rendition of Amazing Grace that we received before the Dec. 1 deadline were included and the end credits list all the groups whose enthusiastic contributions made this crazy idea a resounding success.
I think the program is absolutely beautiful. It’s folksy and wobbly and full of Spirit and hope and I love it.