54 Hours is a film that I helped to develop and Co-Directed with the talented Bruce Alcock from Global Mechanic. The film was completed to coincide with the anniversary of the 1914 Newfoundland Sealing disaster. where 132 men went to the ice and 78 froze to death over the course of 54 hours.
I grew up knowing about this story as members of my family, Ruben and Albert John Crew, were involved in the disaster. As the anniversary approached I developed an initial pitch for the project that was presented to the National Film Board of Canada. We got the green light to move forward in January 2013. The fantastic Michael Crummy, who lives in Newfoundland, was brought on as writer . Bruce Alcock, a fellow Newfoundlander who is lives in BC, was brought on as a Co-Director and together we were able to complete the final film in time for it the centennial events in March 2014. It premiered at the Rooms in St. John's, Newfoundland, where we had over 400 people in attendance, many of whom were family members of the men who were there.
The film went on to play at a number of film festivals and won the Yorkton Film Festival 2015 Founder's Award.
"This short animation is a remarkably vivid account of the 1914 tragedy in which 132 men were stranded on the ice during a severe snowstorm off the coast of Newfoundland. 78 men froze to death on the pack ice. In the spring of 1914, the last of the wooden seal hunting ships in a steel-dominated industry was the Newfoundland, manned by men from across the province. The ship was unable to reach a seal pack due to its lack of ice-breaking power, and 132 men were ordered off the boat and onto the ice to hunt. The ship had no radio equipment, and the men spent two unbearable nights on the ice. Survivor testimony, striking archival materials, weather visualizations, inventive animation and puppetry are seamlessly blended to recreate this harrowing ordeal. "