SYDNEY RIVER — A video produced by a group of Riverview High School students intended to depict the perils of drinking and driving has made a splash on YouTube.
© FILE PHOTO
In this file photo, Sarah Morrison, from left, Morgan Reid, community liaison officer Const. Mike Rolfe, Margaret MacPherson, Matt Riley and Owen MacLellan are among those who are working on the production of a song and video by Riverview High students intended to send a strong message about the dangers of drinking and driving.
By Thursday evening, only a day after the video was uploaded, it had already attracted more than 18,000 views.
“We’re hoping it’s going to grow even more,” said Const. Mike Rolfe, who worked on the project with the students.
Rolfe was once the first officer at the scene of an accident involving an impaired driver and a young child who subsequently died, an experience that stayed with him. He later heard the song, “Just One,” co-written by Nashville-based Lisa Shaffer, on the radio. It’s about a six-year-old boy who is struck by an impaired driver who said he had “just one” drink before getting behind the wheel. Later in the song, the boy’s mother cries because the driver has taken her only child, her “just one.”
After becoming community liaison officer at Riverview, he proposed recording the song and making the video.
Once the video was uploaded to YouTube, Rolfe was in contact with Shaffer, who watched it. The results have received her seal of approval.
“She was absolutely floored. She thought when we originally called and told her what the idea was it was going to something like a high school project where it normally would be just a group of kids re-enacting the crash scene,” he said.
“When she saw it, she said it was just amazing, she said it reduced her to tears.”
The students involved excitedly texted each other as the number of views began to rise, Rolfe said, posted on Twitter about it and it was widely shared on Facebook. Some of the students also tweeted at comedian Ellen Degeneres, hoping that it may help get the video featured on her show.
“The students are amazed at what they produced,” Rolfe said. “They’re floored by it, the response has been so much.”
He’s also heard that several radio stations in other regions of Canada have picked up on it.
“We were hoping it would do this so it would get the message out to everybody out there and it looks like it’s getting there,” Rolfe said. “Those students did an awesome job, I can’t say enough about them. ... It’s a good message, you’ve got to get it out there, especially this time of year with all the safe grads and graduations coming up.”
He also paid tribute to members of the wider community who assisted with the recording and video production. Others who assisted the project were musical director Monica MacNeil, producer Fred Lavery, musicians Aaron Lewis and Allie Bennett. Patrick Doyle assisted with the filming of a video for the song.
The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvwMBgGnSvo.