It’s a pretty serious film. Did you always know that you wanted to make a film about Restorative Justice?
Actually, the theme of Restorative Justice came after knowing the technical and process parameters. At the CFC Media Lab, we knew were going to distribute using the DVD-video as our technology platform, that we will expand on the interface model work by Lars von Triers and Morten Schodjt from Denmark, and that we will work with three emerging writer/directors.
When you think about it, those are very specific parameters within which a story needed to live. So in our effort to find the right story, some of the questions we needed to answer included:
- which stories or genres best work interactively?
- how do you give three different writer/directors creative freedom in their storytelling while also keeping the entire narrative as a whole?
- can we find a narrative that conceptually fits the interactive model?
It takes a long time to find answers to these questions. But I remember the day vividly when everything clicked. We had been speaking with a lot of different production companies, independents, writers, creatives, new media and otherwise. One day I finally had a chance to visit with Xenophile Media who shared with me that they were doing a documentary on Restorative Justice. Specifically, they were working with the Centre for Restorative Justice in Montreal where they take victims and offenders of similar crimes (not the *same* crime) and put them through a 6-week “facilitated storytelling” process. Thomas Wallner, Patrick Crowe and I immediately understood as Thomas was describing this process that *THIS* was what we, as in the CFC Media Lab, have been waiting for in terms of the story framework for the interactive film. I immediately hired Xenophile Media as our research development team to come up with a workshop that will engage all three writer/directors and the two producers in a restorative justice process. They worked with the Centre for Restorative Justice in Montreal with Jean-Jacques Goulet (pictured above with the three directors), and the rest, as they say, is history. I should note that the experience meeting the RJ participants was tremendous and we’d like to thank them for being so generous with their time.