Bill Windsor of Lawless America needs those filmed to provide additional information as soon as possible.
I have filmed approximately 1,500 people. Most of these were interviews with the camera just on the “victim” telling their story. To complete a top-quality movie, I need additional images that will bring the stories to life.
The hope was to find funding so we could have a second crew shooting this type of material. I finally just had to get back on the road to try to do it. Then the criminal stalking of me and the threats consumed a lot of time and caused my wife to divorce me. I don’t have the money to continue.
So, I will stop filming in a few weeks, and get off the road to concentrate on little but trying to find adequate funding to complete the project. I’ll be looking for one person or one company who will provide $100,000 for a significant stake in the movie.
That funding may or may not happen. So, if you want to be considered for one of the feature spots in Lawless America…The Movie, here’s what you must do:
I need you to send me photographs
You must send me quality photographs of the places, people, and things that will help bring your story to life.
I need jpg images in as large a format and as high a quality as possible. The images must be in sharp focus, something that most people rarely achieve with a cellphone. The camera must be held very steady. Professional photographers often cradle the camera and lock their elbows against their chest. If you can brace yourself or your camera against a wall or a pole or something solid, it usually helps. If you have a friend or relative who is a good photographer, try to get them to accompany you to take the photos. If you must use an iPhone or a cellphone, download a free app that gives you image stabilization.
Frame the photos effectively. I you are shooting a photo of a home that was foreclosed, we don’t need to see the neighborhood or the lawn…just a shot that fills the frame with the home.
Then answer these questions with photographs: Who, what, when, where, why, how.
WHO: I have photos and video of you, but photos of you in front of places where important events took place will be a plus. If there are other people whose photos would be meaningful, take those photos or pull them from photos that you took and own the rights to. If you photograph someone, I will need a Model Release (provided below).
WHAT: What happened, and how can you help me illustrate that? Are there important documents? If so, pdf scans of those are important. A photo of a giant pile of documents can be helpful.
WHEN: When did it happen? Is there a way to convey month, date, year, or season with photos?
WHERE: Where did important events take place? What other locations might provide meaningful background?
WHY: Why did it happen? Is there a way to convey that in photos?
HOW: How did it happen? Did others help cause this? Did law enforcement, attorneys, judges, or government officials help cause it? If so, photos of their buildings or offices might be used.
Examples of Photos to take
Here are some ideas for divorce/custody/family court victims:
WHO: Photos of you in front of important locations with an appropriate expression on your face. Photos of the other people involved. If living children are involved, we will blur their faces so they are not recognizable. Your ex. A wedding photo. Mugshots.
WHERE: Photos of any locations that you would have mentioned in the long interview that I did with you. Home where you lived in happy times. Home where you lived when events took place that led to the divorce. If you were assaulted, photos of where that took place. If anyone was arrested, photos of where that took place, the jail, the police station, the police cars for that police department. Photos of the courthouses, CPS offices, GAL offices, psychologists or other medical offices, attorneys’ offices. Welcome to ___ town sign. Photos of the town(s) that might add flavor to the story, location where you were married, schools attended, any activities that might add to the story (schools, bars, sports events, activities).
HOW: Documents that prove your case. I can’t use a mass of things in the movie except possibly one shot to show how much paperwork has been generated. Key court orders, proof that your spouse was lying or those involved were corrupt, threats…anything that we can show or extract key statements to blow up and show.
In a wrongful conviction case, we’d love to have any photos that are evidence. Exactly where crimes allegedly took place is especially important.
Whatever your story is, you should be able to think through the family court example above and identify what you should generate.
If someone can video you, what I would like to have would be just a sentence or two in front of key locations. For example, at a courthouse, “In the Shawnee County Courthouse, my children were taken away from me.” For example, outside a police station, “I was brought here to the Topeka Police Department where I was fingerprinted, had my mug shot taken, was strip searched, and incarcerated for three months.”
If you want to film your entire story from the appropriate locations, just do each party of your story as a separate take. So, in front of the courthouse, record what happened there. At the jail, record what happened there.
Ideally, we would initially want an establishing shot that gives the big picture of where you are, but then most of you talking would be a shot primarily of you talking in front of the spot.
Naming the files consistently will make it much easier for us when editing. So, here’s the file naming system: (firstname)-(lastname)-(statecode)-(location)-(#). For example, “Bill-Windsor-KS-Shawnee-County-Courthouse-1.” When you have more than one at a location, just change the number at the end.
Get the images to me
You may email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Subject line should be: B-ROLL-(FIRSTNAME-LASTNAME)-(STATECODE)-(#). If you send more than one email, just change the number at the end.
If you need to send me a CD or DVD, mail to Bill Windsor, 514 Americas Way #4841, Box Elder, SD 57719. Send by regular mail only.
The Ball is in Your Court – Please Help
PLEASE help. I still hope to film as many backstories as possible, but nothing is certain.
If you do not send me any photos, you probably will not be featured in the movie (unless I have filmed or will film your backstory). So, it is up to you.
If you have questions, post them under this article on Facebook as I do not have the time to respond to emails.