On February 12, 2020, 23 Crew Members, including Academy-Award nominated Director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto, Producer Monica Chiapa, Grammy-Award winning producer Fritzi Horstman, producers Vivianne Nacif and Ted Kamp began filming the documentary “Step Inside the Circle,” a penetrating examination of how childhood trauma is one of the key factors behind America’s escalating levels of incarceration.
Filmed at a maximum security prison in Lancaster, California, the focus of the day was filming the Compassion Trauma Circle where 235 incarcerated men stepped inside the circle for each traumatic event they experience in their childhood, roughly based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences survey created by Dr. Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda of the CDC.
Many of the men and women living behind bars aren’t aware of their Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Compassion Trauma Circle is one of the ways to raise awareness about what happens when the brain and body are traumatized before the age of 18. What naturally follows is an urgent call to change how we treat and care for these traumatized individuals, 95% of whom will one day become our neighbors again once they leave the prison walls.
Those who have experienced the Compassion Trauma Circle and have learned about the symptoms of trauma feel a sense of relief and self-forgiveness. It has given them understanding about their past behavior and opens a doorway to forgiveness, making amends and healing.
The film is a call to action: to spread the word about Adverse Childhood Trauma (ACEs), to understand the physical, emotional and social impact ACEs have wrought on our society and to stress the importance of care (not punishment) going forward in the criminal justice system.
Our filming goals include:
● Interviews with Trauma Experts, Doctors and Neuroscientists who will give us the game-changing information about how trauma affects the brain and body
● Interviews with the men and women living behind bars
● Interviews with CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) leaders
● Film the Compassion Trauma Circle in a women's prison
● Editorial: In addition to our production crew, we also need to pay for an incredible editor, assistant editor, space for editorial and editing equipment.
DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Fritzi Horstman
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Monica Chiapa
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Vivianne Nacif
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Ted Kamp
SUPERVISING PRODUCER Ian Villatoro
SUPERVISING PRODUCER Paul Gonzales
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Rodrigo Prieto
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jac Cheairs
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Nicolas Aguilar
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Clay Westervelt
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Dominic Rubino
FIRST ASSISTANT CAMERA Trevor Loomis
ASSISTANT CAMERA Connor Lambert
ASSISTANT CAMERA Matthew Cabinum
ASSISTANT CAMERA Jordan Oglesby
ASSISTANT CAMERA Tyler Andrews
CAMERA LOADER Mike Prior
2ND ASSISTANT CAMERA Chris Sloan
KEY GRIP Ryan McGuire
GAFFER Josh Davis
SWING Noah Hopper
SOUND MIXER José García
SOUND MIXER Mike Hammeke
BOOM OPERATOR Jonathan Fuh
SOUND ASSISTANT Lucas Garcia
BEHIND THE SCENES Ximera Prieto
BEHIND THE SCENES Maria Prieto
EDITOR Kip Wood
COMPOSER Fabian Russ
VFX ARTIST James Bannon-Schneebeck
RE-RECORDING MIXER Bill Komar
We have a lot left to film! Please support us in making this happen!