The afternoon before LB died I was interviewed (and filmed) about my experiences of being his mum. This interview was to give our research assistant, Sophie, practice in in-depth, qualitative interviewing. The actual interview wasn’t ever to see the light of day, other than Sophie watching it through to reflect on her developing interview skills. Anyone who knows me would appreciate that this wasn’t a task I embraced, but Sophie did a good job and handled what was, in places, a difficult story sensitively.
This film took on a different meaning the next day. It was a record of me chatting and laughing about LB in the present tense. In a way I never would again. Rosie and I watched it together and separately during those sleepless early nights. We decided to make a short film for the after do party. A mix of photos, extracts from the interview, home movies and music. We sat at the kitchen table for hours, sorting through photos, deciding on video/home movie extracts and the soundtrack. Our attention to detail was faultless as we made sure the photo of LB delighting in the confetti thrown at a friend’s wedding coincided with the magical section of Pure Imagination. The lyrics about seeing paradise had a photo of LB sitting on Hergest Ridge with a stunning backdrop. The film started with a short clip of LB as a babe, sitting in his high chair, laughing his socks off. The chatty bits from the interview had Einaudi’s piano playing quietly in the background. We laughed, we bawled and we concentrated.
I finished the interview with Sophie by saying “He’s made life interesting, he’s made life colourful. He’s great.” And we ended the short film with a blast from Divine Comedy’s ‘National Express’. As it should be.