Production company: Brinkworth films
Network: A&E (USA)
Format: 8 x 1 Hour
This documentary series tells the dramatic stories of what happens when you are accused of a serious crime and was the first show of its kind on U.S. television. Whether you are the accused, or a close family member, it’s a terrifying experience. Everything is on the line; jobs, homes, children, marriages and most importantly freedom.
I followed two cases in America. An 18 year old in Texas who was accused of killing both his parents and a young man in Atlanta accused of beating a women unconscious outside a party. Between them they were facing over 70 years in jail.
We wanted to show an audience an unbiased, inside view of what happens when you are accused of a serious crime. What is the process of a defence, how does a family cope when their loved one’s face such huge accusations, how does it change an innocent person’s psychology under the mountain of pressure of the rest of your life in jail.
This project was incredibly consuming for me as a film maker. It’s an essential part of my job to remain impartial whilst staying emotionally engaged. However, you can’t spend time with people who are victims of crime or people accused of crime without feeling the emotional weight of that experience.
I had the privileged insight into what accused individuals and their families go through, and it was a life changing experience. This project like many I work on taught me a lot about building proffesional relationships with people going through extraordinary times in their lives.