The concept: David Field and Mic Gruchy have been working together in film for over 20 years. Nearly two years ago they were both affected by the tragedy of youth suicide when one of their best friend’s daughters committed suicide… her name was Tahlia, and she was only nineteen.
Out of the greatest love and respect to Tahlia’s family David and Mic decided to make something beautiful come from this tragedy, in the form of a commercial to raise awareness of youth suicide.
The concept of the commercial was to use photographic images submitted by people who want to create awareness of youth suicide and support Kids Helpline and have these morph into Tahlia’s face – all to the backdrop of the original song by David Field, titled Tahlia. The project has received generous support from The CorriLee Foundation, BoysTown and Miranda Kerr and her mother, Therese Kerr, in order to come to fruition.
The too many … too soon commercial is now complete and was launched on Sunday August 28.
From Mic Gunchy …
Like many positive outcomes the ʻToo Many Too Soonʼ Community Service Announcement, made for television with the support of the CorrieLee Foundation, came out of great sadness. Early in 2008 my friend, Actor, Director David Field and I were preparing to shoot his first feature film as Director, ʻThe Combinationʼ. Dealing with violence and disfunction in the Lebanese community of western Sydney the script also included strong roles for indigenous Australian actors. Dave was planning to cast our dear friend and consummate actor Kelton Pell in the role of an indigenous boxing gym owner who befriends the main character, a young Lebanese man fresh out of goal. Whilst arrangements were being made to bring Kelton from his home in Western Australia the saddest possible news arrived. Keltonʼs eldest daughter Tahlia had taken her own life. Of course Kelton was unable to make the filming and Dave dedicated the film to Tahlia in the final credits.
Watching a close friend go through such a terrible loss affected us all deeply and Dave channelled some of the emotion into writing a song which he played to our friends, musicians Tim Oxley and Jodi Phillis. Jodi was in the successful music group ʻThe Cloudsʼ and both are wonderful writers, producers and performers. They took the powerful base of Daveʼs song, added Jodiʼs beautiful, ethereal voice and Timʼs instrumental and production skills to create a powerful emotional track which appeared under their performing name of ʻRoger Loves Bettyʼ. Dave was still driven by the loss to find more ways to bring something good out of the sadness and approached me with the idea to produce a TV commercial for ʻKids Helplineʼ a counseling service supported by our dear friend Tanya Lee through her charity organisation ʻThe CorrieLee Foundationʼ. Tanya secured some funding through the foundation and commissioned me to design, edit and produce a commercial based on the song about Tahlia. We had the idea to make a website asking people to send in their photos if they supported the aims of Kids Helpline and wanted to help fight teen suicide. We shot a short video of Dave explaining this and it was placed on a website produced by Daynor Missingham. Tanya also contacted her extensive network of celebrity contacts and hundreds of photos flooded in.
A voice over was recorded by Dave with the generous support of Sound Designer Basil Hogios and I created the montage of photos you see in the advertisement. For Dave, Tanya and I the positive responses from viewers, the powerful emotion it raises in those who see it has been very satisfying. The emotion from Kelton Pell and his family, a terrible mixture a sadness and pride, is testimony to the power of the message. We all hope this can help even one person to avoid the great loss they have suffered. We hope a little good
can come from a terrible thing. Mic Gruchy Sydney, August 2011