It took several years to make Waiting Outside… with the project having started in 2016. The film appeared in and won awards at international film festivals throughout 2018 and 2019, saw theatrical release in Canada in 2019, and was broadcasted on CBC regionally, becoming available to stream nationally on CBC GEM for three years from January 2021.
Roz and I worked together closely for about a year and a half during the production phase as she developed a beautiful score for my LGBTQ short film. I fondly reflect on our initial conversations about instrumentation and the desired sonic profile the score could take on.
The score almost became a character in and of itself and I liked the texture of it so much I was excited to evolve it further into being a fully-fledged original song for the credits. In making the film I’d picked out about a dozen songs to play over credits, but they were expensive rights to access, and songwriting had always been on my bucket list. When I wrote and released my first book at 18, a collection of poetry called The Teenage Years… Mapped, many of the pieces were written as lyrics because of that bucket list goal. So, when Roz proposed that we collaborate and write our own song to conclude Waiting Outside… I was both honoured and thrilled.
Waiting Outside… was also inspired by a poem, one by Carmelita McGrath, and I reshaped it to focus on an inclusive modern queer family. I wanted to show that life throws challenge and hardship at every human, regardless of family composition. So it features an adopted daughter (Scout) who has two dads; one dad (Simon) receives a terminal diagnosis while the other dad (Felix) is still on a military deployment – another conscious creative decision to emphasize and normalize the idea of LGBTQ people serving their country.
While queer content is becoming more mainstream in film, television, and publication – it remains important that queer content continue to grow. We all want and need to see a part of ourselves reflected in media content.
It has been an honour to share this important story and message with audiences – that all of life’s moments are precious, that we are all human and share the desire to love and be loved, and that we are susceptible to the same hardships.
I am excited that the release of Never Let Go not only checks off a personal goal, but that it also breathes new life into Waiting Outside… and that it will hopefully bring new audiences to the piece. I am elated for Roz in that it also signals the beginning of her next creative chapter as a lead single for her new forthcoming album.
Check out the video below! And watch Waiting Outside… by clicking here: https://gem.cbc.ca/media/reel-east-coast/s06e03