Stories Lived

A Life In Fast Forward **Finalist**

Simon Dayman, a young father, was diagnosed with brain cancer in November of 2016, aged 35. He live-streamed a Facebook video explaining his diagnosis (which can be seen at the beginning of the film) and told his friends and family through the medium that he had 3-6 months to live and how the best way to deal with his situation, was to take everything positively and make the most of what little time he had left.

Frequently, Simon would post videos on Facebook answering questions about his diagnosis, updates and his thoughts on death and living. Simon is an old family friend of ours and I have always looked up to Simon as being a cool uncle of mine, upon hearing his diagnosis and hearing his positive mental attitude towards his horrific situation inspired me to want to share his message, not just literally on Facebook, but through film.

In February of 2017, myself and a team of 4 others traveled across to Lincoln, England and spent the day with Simon, interviewing him in the morning and going on a walk around the city to provide the reflective visuals for the film. It was amazing to see him again and hear his thoughts in person, and I felt so inspired just listening to him.

Simon continued the Facebook page ‘Simon Says’ uploading videos until his physical health started to deteriorate in the Summer of 2017. Check out his videos here (https://www.facebook.com/chooseyourday/)

Simon passed away on the morning of 13th July 2017, 8 months after his original 3-6 month diagnosis, his following on Facebook had grown tremendously and he had hosted the first ‘Rave for life’ (Charity club night) just weeks before his passing. It is an honor to have known the coolest man on the planet, and to continue his legacy through the power of the film.

 

About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Niall Conroy

Niall Conroy, 20, is a film maker studying at Staffordshire University based in Stoke-on-Trent in England. He grew up as a theatre actor but moved to film in his late teens, specializing in directing and editing. The project which kick-started Niall’s film making was ‘Straight Outta Compton Dando’ – a parody music video about rappers in the West Country, it went viral in Somerset and encouraged him to make music videos for local bands and friends while he applied for Film School. ‘A Life in Fast Forward’ is only Niall’s second non-fiction short film and couldn’t have done it without his producer, Jennie Millar, and his talented camera & sound team, Gemma Chambers, Tom Hardwick and George Rawding. Niall went on to write and direct the short film ‘The Door’ with partner Becca Hirst (https://vimeo.com/216163891) whilst being asked to edit the graduate film ‘miss Gender’ which was recently screened at the Leeds INDIs festival.

Filmmaker’s Website: https://vimeo.com/216289899

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