The Suzuki Diaries
I worked as the Art Director for The Nature of Things for 10 years designing sets, opening titles, posters, printed matter, logos and animating scientific illustrations. This amounted to over 60 documentaries. For larger projects, I assembled and lead small teams of designers and animators, working closely with some of the best directors in Canada. I feel lucky to have worked on such a seminal Canadian show. It was a real hoot—full of challenges and career highlights.
In 2008, I moved into the role of producer-creator with “The Suzuki Diaries”. David wanted to make a response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, something that offered solutions—some good news for a change. The Nature of Things team came to me with an idea that required a virtual set, which seemed like the wrong approach for a story about real-life solutions. So, I took a few days and came back with a kernel of an idea—what about a road trip that follows David? But every road trip movie needs a buddy, so I pitched the idea of a father/daughter tour, and to my surprise everyone went for it…David, his daughter Sarika, my co-producer Tina Verma and the Executive Producer Michael Alder.
What I loved about producing The Suzuki Diaries was that I was involved in all aspects, the research (where do we go and who do we visit), travel logistics across five European cities, lots of behind the scenes trouble-shooting, plus the overall look and feel. It was one of my favourite CBC experiences, spending 21 days on-location travelling by rail with David, Sarika and the four-person crew. We went to Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Seville. The trip wrapped up at a national park on the Mediterranean and we knew we had captured something special. It seemed particularly poignant, as David, now in his 70’s was beginning to wind down from The Nature of Things. The film debuted at the Royal Cinema in Toronto to a sold-out crowd and I remember David saying to me that his friends thought it was one of the best Nature of Things episodes, and the road trip idea sparked two more instalments, Future Cities, and Coastal Canada. The film remains one of the projects I am most proud of.
I worked as co-producer and co-creator with Tina Verma. Executive Producer Michael Allder, Director Kenton Vaughan, DP John Badcock, Music David Wells and Kevin Lacroix.