Thank you everyone for your support!!!
Truth Has Fallen is a 60-minute animated/live action documentary about three people who were convicted for murders they did not commit. The film exposes causes of wrongful convictions, such as the inaccuracy of eyewitness identification, the unreliability of "snitch" testimony, and forced confessions. Experts advocate for relatively simple changes to the justice system in order to reduce the rate of wrongful convictions. You can view a long trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TO2iaQwOSI
I create films that investigate social issues utilizing a unique hybrid of animation and documentary. I have produced, directed, and animated six award-winning independent animated films. Truth Has Fallen is by far my most massive undertaking. Over the past 7 years, I have produced over 30 minutes of painting-on-glass animation (approximately 22,000 individual paintings) for the film on nights and weekends around my job as Associate Professor in animation at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The film is near completion. All of the animation has been generated. Stunning live action was shot by DP Tom Curran. The rough cut is completed, bringing the running time to 52 minutes.
Truth Has Fallen has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellowship, the Roy W. Dean Film Grant, and the Panavision New Filmmaker Award. The generous support of these foundations has allowed me to travel around the United States to interview James McCloskey who runs Centurion Ministries, as well as the three main characters in the film who describe their experiences of being wrongfully convicted.
Also interviewed are lawyers and criminologists. Among the lawyers providing expert testimony are Barry Scheck who co-founded and directs the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Vincent Bugliosi who had a distinguished career as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office including the prosecution of Charles Manson.
Other experts featured in the film include criminologist Dr. Sheila Balkan, Justin Brooks, Project Director of the California Innocence Project, California Western School of Law, Marjorie Cohn, Associate Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Julius Debro, Professor of Criminology, University of Washington, and Professor William J. Aceves, Director of International Legal Studies Program, California Western School of Law.
WHAT WE NEED TO FINISH
In May I received a $22,960 Zumberge Individual Grant that was awarded by the Office of the Provost at the University of Southern California. This money will allow me to hire an editor and sound designer and to begin production on the music. On board is the talented editor Yu Gu and brilliant composer/musician Barbara Cohen. There are also additional post-production lab expenses. My goal is to complete the film by February 2013.
In order to complete all post-production I will require an additional $25,000 for music and post-production lab expenses. Your donation will allow me to finally bring to life the stories of three very brave individuals who shared their experiences behind bars. Simple reforms advocated in the film could drastically reduce the rate of wrongful convictions.
Your contribution will be rewarded with exciting perks, including digital stills, a DVD of the film, and a private screening of the film.
WHY THIS FILM NEEDS TO BE MADE
• Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence. (Staff Report, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil & Constitutional Rights, Oct. 1993, with updates from DPIC).
• From 1973-1999, there was an average of 3 exonerations per year. From 2000-2011, there has been an average of 5 exonerations per year.
Truth Has Fallen exposes problems in the US justice system that have contributed to wrongful convictions. During the time it has taken to make this film, 1,418 people have been sentenced to death. (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics: "Capital Punishment, 2010.") It is extremely important that the American public understands that innocent people are often convicted for murders they did not commit and are subsequently sentenced to death.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
If you are unable to contribute you can still help by spreading the word out about this campaign. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information you can visit the film's website at http://www.truthhasfallenmovie.com/