Nine Years and Still Going Strong

Today, at Yale, the Department of Justice is hosting a screening of my AFI Thesis film American Made. It’s astounding how long that film has been seen and used – nine years ago I was starting to edit the film, and it’s still being seen by people after that long. It aired for four years on PBS’ “Independent Lens” and was seen by about 2 million people.

So I’m about to go walk down the street and see it at the school. Will report back later.

Last week, we spent an entire day interviewing a former inmate for the Visual Law Project film. It included shooting him rapping and with his daughter. H was so incredibly charming and fun with a big smile. Amazing for a man who spent about three years in a supermax prison. We were also locked out of his house for a good long time, but all in all one of these interviews that may change our approach to making the film. Editing continues tomorrow!

Wrapping up Production

We spent last week with a handful of really terrific interviews and production on the Visual Law Project film. We filmed:

  1. The head of the Connecticut Department of Corrections, interviewing him about their so-called “supermax” prison and the system at large;
  2. A reverend who works to eliminate US-sponsored torture in prisons domestically and abroad;
  3. A psychiatrist who worked with inmates in the Connecticut prison system;
  4. A former inmate who we interviewed before, who walked us through the housing projects where he was shot at age 14;
  5. In New York, an architect who designs prisons and buildings for the justice system.

Really incredible footage, shot mostly by our go to guy Joe Freidman as well as myself for #5 and B-Camera work. We’re starting to edit and create the story in earnest right now. Lots of great stuff, just have to figure out how to put it together now – which is the fun part or course.

More from the editing front in the days to come!

Back in Production

Boy I’ve been really bad at keeping this thing up, haven’t I?

Well here’s a quick update on this and the previous week which has gotten quite busy.

Last week we started actually doing some early editing for the Visual Law Project Year Two documentary I have been talking about. All the interviews and footage squarely separated out in our shiny new Final Cut Pro 10 (FCP X) system (a product which I loathe, but has some redeeming qualities in it as demonstrated to me by Yale’s terrific Lee Faulkner, video production and tech guru). Also go to talk to friend and animation powerhouse Joey Jones of Shadedbox about possible animation and infographic work for the doc.

This week, we’re back interviewing folks for the film, including today’s with the head of the the Connecticut prison system, hiring the great Joe Friedman as our DP.

Tomorrow, another interview including a guy taking us to the neighborhood where he was shot at age 14 (!). Friday in New York for one interview, a demonstration on documentary production at the RebLaw Conference here at Yale on Saturday, and then it’s full post-production mode.

I’ll get consistent again, I swear!