A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Director Diary
Tom Radford

Here is a snapshot of Director Tom Radford's notes to himself as he prepares the research for his film, A Land as Green as the Sea.

Discovered my grandmother's book today, A Woman in the West, written in Edmonton in 1905. She and my grandfather set up their printing press in a trapper's cabin, and published it on their own. Seems as if they recorded every detail of their first months on the frontier. It all seems so fresh to them; the life of a new city growing up around them.

She first lived in a boarding house on Jasper Avenue. I think their room was on the third floor. She writes:

"Sometimes in the early hours, when I am awakened by the milk wagon's heavy rumble and the first stirrings of the street, I rise, and throwing on a dressing gown, hurry to my observation post to see the bustling little city stretch herself and prepare for the day's work."

The stills from their newspaper and the archives could be useful. Construction scenes of the first streetcar tracks on Jasper (maybe a bit later?) could work with her voice over...

Possibly her voice over can segue into the narrative or vice versa? The idea of a continuing stream of consciousness of the immigrant experience - what is passed down from generation to generation.

"At the corner, men lined up waiting for the land office to open. All have one thing in common, high hopes, you can see it in the weariest set of shoulders, in the most nervous of the women. God grant that their rosiest dreams be realized. I came to Edmonton a stranger myself, not long since....."

Maybe this can become a bigger sequence with me going through the boxes of old photographs in the attic and coming upon both the book and the photos which illustrate its themes. Could I shoot it at the kitchen table? Cut it with the interview of Mom talking about what pack rats they were?

Music??? The cacophony of languages and cultures in the land office might be fun to work with - give us some variation from the purely Celtic theme. Balalaika?

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