The Penalty Q&A: Docs Docs and more Docs.

Posted December 2nd, 2014 by Kelie Petterssen

I went down to Reel Nice Studios, in the depths that is the maze of London Bridge, to speak to the lovely One for Ten team about their upcoming feature The Penalty. This documentary explores the criminal justice system in the U.S  on a deeper level than has been before; lifting the lid on the human cost of the death penalty.

They are currently crowdfunding for their feature on Kickstarter here – where you can watch the trailer and find out more behind the scenes on programme. I promise you, you will be persuaded.

Laura Shacham, producer of The Penalty and Will Francome, one of the co-directors were more than helpful. They really believe in their project and hope others can see how valuable what they are trying to spread to world is. They also have some pretty good tips on documentary filmmaking, crowdfunding and sourcing. Check out our Q&A below and see for yourself.


 So, what made you want to make this documentary?

What was so interesting about this topic? What was shocking?

What was an interesting learning curve for documentary making from this project?

What were some of the challenges you faced as independent filmmakers?

The Penalty team have been using a series of crowdfunding campaigns to help raise money for their project. Now, crowdfunding is not everyone’s cup of tea – some filmmakers love the idea and others feel very strongly against it. Laura and Will were able to weigh up some pros and cons.

One for Ten also have good tips on how to find and build relationships with sources.

What is the nature of documentary filming?

One of the hardest parts of documentary filmmaking is staying objective. One for Ten raised some interesting points about how to try and stay impartial but also highlighting how and why there could be a lack of objectivity in mainstream channels…

What do you want The Penalty to achieve?

Why should people care about the death penalty?


One for Ten are currently crowdfunding to finish their project-hopefully from these snaps you can see how valuable the discussion is, as well as how the project has introduced contemporary techniques to documentary filmmaking that can lead to greater things. An interactive web series? I would never have thought of that…

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