A Film by Scott Christopherson & Brad Barber
Peace Officer is a feature documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William “Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigative skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide. Disturbing trends grown out of the war on drugs and the federal program that supplies military surplus to police in cities and small towns alike ultimately lead Peace Officer to ask the question: what force is necessary to protect the lives of both officers and citizens?
Why have a Kickstarter?
Since the summer of 2012, we have been working hard to make the incredible stories in Peace Officer come to light. We wanted to start a discussion around the little-understood developments in the use of SWAT teams and the overall militarization of police forces in America as a whole. We were shocked it wasn't being talked about in the national media. Little did we know that just as we were wrapping production in 2014, the events in Ferguson, Missouri and other parts of the country would make so many issues in our story be thrust in to the national conversation in a big way.
We were fortunate to work with some amazing people, with pretty much everyone donating or volunteering significant resources, time, and talents born from a desire to help this important story come to light. Where donations weren't possible, several have worked for deferred pay. These sacrifices are precious to us, and we would like to honor their commitment to help Peace Officer contribute to the growing dialogue by finishing the film and getting it out to as many people as possible. We are in the final stages of post production and need to pay for color timing, titles and graphics, sound mixing, archival clips, and music.
Even once that's all done and paid for, our job is far from finished. It's been said that making an independent film is a two-part process: #1, make the film, #2, promote the film. Without the resources of a film studio or marketing department, it will be a full time job for us to conduct a grass-roots campaign to get the film to film festivals, promote it, and find a distributor. There are lots of costs involved with this step: we need to pay to make a trailer, pay for insurance, the website's design and programming, film festival fees and travel, the creation of different media that film festivals and television networks require to show the film (and hard drives to store that media), poster + DVD design, and countless other promotional costs.
This Kickstarter campaign is so important because we want everyone to see Peace Officer, think about it, and talk about it -- talk not just to their friends and family, but to their elected officials and policy makers. We are very proud of this film, but it will all be for naught if no one sees it and no one learns from Dub and the other participants' amazing stories. It's vital we get this done, and as soon as possible. Your donation will help bring this highly relevant and timely story to a large audience, which will hopefully make a very strong and positive contribution to the growing national dialogue around this issue.
I'm in. How can I help?
- In short, DONATE!. Become one of our backers and help us share this incredible story and keep the conversation going.
- SHARE. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to help us spread the word. Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- LIKE & FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and stay updated on what's going on!
About The Crew
Scott Christopherson, Director, Producer, Director of Photography
As an undergraduate Scott worked for Ross McElwee at Harvard University on his film In Paraguay. Ross helped guide Scott’s first film titled Only the Pizza Man Knows, which was broadcast internationally for over a year on the satellite cable network BYUtv. After his undergraduate work Scott worked as the Documentary Arts Director/Instructor for Spy Hop Productions and the Sundance Institute’s youth documentary workshops. His students’ films went on to win multiple awards locally and internationally and were nominated as the top short film in Utah two consecutive years. While living in San Francisco for graduate school, Scott shot, directed, and edited over 20 short films for Project Runway’s season six website. Scott received his MFA in documentary cinema from San Francisco State University and he also earned an MA degree in Anthropology from UW-Madison. He is currently an Assistant Professor of documentary film at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.
Brad Barber, Director, Producer, Director of Photography
Through a stroke of luck Brad got his start in documentary by shooting one across five continents in 2001. After returning to the states he attended USC where he received an MFA in Cinema-Television Production. He then worked in Los Angeles as an editor, cinematographer, and director/producer of documentary film and television, with credits on PBS, Showtime, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and Google, among others. He has served on selection committees for the Slamdance Film Festival and the International Documentary Association Awards. Brad was nominated for an Emmy for his work as an editor on the HBO documentary Resolved, on which he also served as an associate producer and cinematographer. Brad has also won multiple regional Emmys for his public television documentary series Beehive Stories. He is currently an Associate Professor of non-fiction film at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Dave Lawrence, Producer/Executive Producer
Leaving a film degree behind to obtain a B.S. in Finance at the University of Utah, Dave's business savvy has led him down various paths and industries including working with major league soccer team Real Salt Lake and Global brand Real Madrid. As part of a Sports products buying team he contributed to doubling YOY profits of a large publicly traded online e-tailer store. Transitioning over to the consumer technology world he helped build and manage one of the fastest growing (and currently largest) Apple Specialist retailers in North America. Most recently as Scheduling Director for one of the top five locum tenens companies in the industry he enjoys placing Doctors who provide premium care to patients in hospitals from Hawaii to Maine. Peace Officer is the first feature length film Dave has Produced.
Tom Hammond, Sound Mixing
Founder of Soundcrafter, Tom Hammond has been the supervising sound editor on nine of Richard Linklater's films, including Boyhood, and the superviser and/or re-recording mixer on at least 80 other independent narrative and documentary features and five television series. He intermittently teaches and guest lectures in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a BFA and MFA in film/video production from the California Institute of the Arts. Earlier he studied physics and music composition at Whitman College.
Renny McCauley, Editor
Renny started working in documentary film production in 2006 when he was hired as the Post Production Supervisor for Open Eye Pictures in Sausalito, California. He oversaw the post production of three feature documentaries, all of which were broadcast nationally on PBS. Renny worked as the Assistant Editor and Associate Producer for Under Our Skin (2009) which was shortlisted for the 2010 Academy Awards and won Best Documentary at six film festivals. He has edited two previous feature documentaries and dozens of music videos and commercials. His editing work has been shown on PBS, IFC, MTV Hive, LogoTV, Pitchfork, Rookie Mag and at over fifty film festivals around the world. He holds a BS from Syracuse University and MFA from San Francisco State University. He is currently a freelance editor in Austin, Texas.
Micah Dahl Anderson, Composer
Risks and challenges
We have a strong team and know that this story can make a change. Thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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