WHAT WE DO

Our mission at Complete Picture is to produce emotionally engaging video portraits that humanize individuals being sentenced to prison. The judge views this video prior to sentencing when determining the severity of punishment.  

WHY WE DO IT

COMPLETE PICTURE BENEFITS THE LIVES OF

MEN & WOMEN WHO ARE FACING

YEARS OF INCARCERATION 

Just like a psychologist or social worker called by the defense team, these videos mitigate the sentencing process and provide a more well-rounded representation of the individual being sentenced. This deeper understanding of others strengthens our democracy, one individual at a time.

It is estimated that one out of every three African-American males born in the U.S. today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime. According to the Pew Research study, one in 55 Americans is on probation or parole. The underprivileged and under-served in our society are wedded to public defenders to navigate our system of mass incarceration. Although judges have a responsibility to sort through all evidence and consider all aspects of a case, the vast majority of information they are given is negative. The Complete Picture video portrait provides a more comprehensive narrative, emphasizing the humanity, not just the crime.

During pre-production, we collaborate with the defense attorney to decide together which issues or questions raised are most important to tell the defendant’s story. Filming for these video portraits is completed over one to two days by capturing intimate interviews with the defendant’s family, friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, employers, co-workers, spiritual leaders and crucial members of their support system.

 

Key statements expressed by family and friends are often the strongest pillars from which to build the video. We also gather B-roll, consisting of additional footage related to talking points, photos from childhood, family gatherings, work achievements, educational milestones and public service. 

In the post-production phase, we edit the video, making sure to relay sequential events and elaborate on important details to take the viewer on a journey in the defendant’s shoes.

 

The end product is essentially a ten to fifteen-minute documentary. The video is not over-produced or slick, but stands on its own, allowing the viewer to see a more Complete Picture.   

One out of every 100 African-American women in the U.S. is now incarcerated, nearly three times the rate for women overall. Add to this the fact that non-violent and drug offenses comprise the vast majority of the prison population, and it becomes clear that we, as a nation, have a huge problem.

Why do we, as a society, lock up more of our citizens than any other country?  One could easily follow the money and point to the increased privatization of prisons as a factor.  And mandatory minimum sentencing — is it working to decrease the crimes for which it was intended?  But why, specifically, do we lock up disproportionately more of our citizens of color for non-violent crimes, unfairly and irreparably destroying individuals, their families, and their communities?  Pronouncements by the ACLU and politicians that we must end systemic racism by striking at its roots in society are important sentiments, but tend to be vague in their ability to affect real change, right here, right now.

The yearly incarceration cost burdening the American taxpayer ranges, depending on the state, between $31,000 and $120,000 per inmate. Complete Picture has been instrumental in saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

A sentencing mitigation video is not right for every situation, but for many, it provides an extraordinary benefit and has the power to drastically alter the outcome of sentencing.

1. A Statement of Work is created and sent to the defense attorney, judge and/or the defendant.

2. We coordinate with the attorney to review pertinent information pertaining to the defendant's case, and we conduct the research needed to understand the defendant's unique circumstances.

3. We interview the defendant to compile a strategic list of interviewees. Once they are approved by the attorney, we schedule the film shoot. This phase of pre-production takes a minimum of two weeks.

4. All of the interviews are filmed with state-of-the-art cameras, lights and audio equipment.

5. The footage is then brought into post-production where it is edited into a rough cut that is shared with the attorney for feedback. This process averages around four to five weeks.

6. Once the final cut is approved, a link is submitted to the defense attorney for them to share with their client and the judge.

 
 

HOW WE DO IT

The Need For Change Is Now

Today, people of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but 67% of the prison population. Overall, African-Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested. Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted, and once convicted they are more likely to face stiff sentences.

One out of every 100 African-American women in the U.S. is now incarcerated, nearly three times the rate for women overall. Add to this the fact that non-violent and drug offenses comprise the vast majority of the prison population, and it becomes clear that we, as a nation, have a huge problem.

Why do we, as a society, lock up more of our citizens than any other country?  One could easily follow the money and point to the increased privatization of prisons as a factor.  And mandatory minimum sentencing — is it working to decrease the crimes for which it was intended?  But why, specifically, do we lock up disproportionately more of our citizens of color for non-violent crimes, unfairly and irreparably destroying individuals, their families, and their communities?  Pronouncements by the ACLU and politicians that we must end systemic racism by striking at its roots in society are important sentiments, but tend to be vague in their ability to affect real change, right here, right now.

Today, people of color make up 37% of the U.S. population but 67% of the prison population. Overall, African-Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested. Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted, and once convicted they are more likely to face stiff sentences.

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 Complete Satisfaction

 323-683-5689

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WHY CHOOSE US?

OUR COMMITMENT TO OUTREACH

Outreach is extremely important because most defense attorneys have yet to explore the use of sentencing or mitigation videos. A year ago, when we presented examples of Complete Picture's video sentencing work to 100 federal defense attorneys in Sacramento, every single attorney present was astounded and deeply moved.

 

They simply had never seen anything like what we are creating and all of them wanted to know how they, too, could utilize such complex, nuanced portraits for their defendants who have little or no financial resources. They saw first-hand how the videos could humanize their defendants and how it would help to tell a more complete story to the judge who is deciding their sentence.  

 
 

COMPLETE PICTURE

Headquarters:   Redwood City, CA  94061     323.683.5689