Back in 2009 I was busy putting together a film called Bright Blue Button. The basis of the film was all about swapping. We started with a two inch wide bright blue button, then via a website offered it up for swapping for something of higher value, perceived or intrinsic. Whatever we ended up with one year later would be sold for charity. We launched the website and the first offers started to come in and we decided to go for a first edition of the cult comic 2000AD. But we had one problem. We needed a presenter.
We tried everything from asking friends, to amateur dramatics to dreaming up a Britain's Got Talent auditions for students. Nothing. Then one day a friend called to say he knew someone who was very talented and was the lead singer in his band. We set up a meeting. 7th April 2009, enter Sam Muirhead. Both myself and Alastair, the producer, were knocked off our feet. Sam was 22 years old, 100% pure energy, bouncy and happy with a grin to rival Julia Roberts. There was no audition necessary. Sam had the looks and the energy and, being mad as a brush, was up for anything. She loved the idea of the film. I had to laugh a couple of days later when I received an email from Sam apologising. She had left our brief meeting having taken the decision herself that she would be presenter. Any doubts that we had chosen the right person or not were dispelled on the first shoot. She was a natural, rising to the occasion and ad-libing perfectly. For various reasons the film never went on to completion, and Sam had decided to move back to Australia with her husband Dale. We stayed in touch occasionally through the ubiquitous Facebook. Not long after returning to Australia they had separated, but Sam being Sam picked herself up and enrolled in University in Tasmania and pushed her singing forward making showreels and demos. There was no keeping her down. She was now going by the name Sammi J Hewitt. Then came the 21 March 2011. That evening, in Hobart, Sam was murdered by her boyfriend, who then took his own life. The effect of this rippled round the world. Sam had touched many lives with her positive approach to life. She lived and breathed every second of it. The circumstances of her death were horrific, and I can't put that together with the image I have of Sam. It seems fictional. This is the first time I have ever experienced such a thing happening to someone I know. We have all seen such things on TV and the movies, but when it gets this close it brings it home just how horrible such a thing is. Newspapers on both sides of the world ran the story, and I'm glad people are talking and telling stories about her. A rising star extinguished all too soon. Rest in peace Sam