Based on a powerful spoken word poem, Shane Koyczan‘s To This Day Project explores the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.
Since it was uploaded four days ago, Shane’s collaborative “To This Day Project” YouTube video – featuring work from animators and motion artists around the world – has received almost 2.5 million views.
In this interview, Shira Lazar talks with Shane about being a bully and being bullied, the positive reactions garnered from the video, and an inspiring letter from someone affected by the project.
“We asked that animators submit a 20-second animation based on an audio clip that we would give them from the piece,” he says of the short film. “The goal was to thread all these pieces together in a fluid, movie type of setting.”
“Bullying, to me, starts very small around the kindergarten age where the first thing we learn is to call each other names,” Shane says of his experiences. “Something so small can be so long lasting in someone’s life.”
In terms of what he hopes people take away from his video, Shane says, “Just that sense of connectivity. As much as you may feel alone in this, you’re really not. There’s people who go through this every day. In a lot of ways, there’s more of us than there are of them.”
He adds, “We need to be more assertive in how we deal with it and better at coming forward when we see it.”
Now, it’s our turn to make a difference in our communities. “The great hope with this piece is that people will find that light or find that piece within themselves to see their beauty, to celebrate their differences,” Shane says. “Because their differences ultimately are what make them beautiful.”
Find out how you can help the collaborative effort at ToThisDayProject.com.