John Smithson discusses the creative challenges in crafting story in his new true-crime series I, Sniper.
High-end crime serials have become the pinnacle of factual, and the rise of streaming services offer an enticing opportunity with the budgets and the time to enable some serious creativity.
For four years Arrow Pictures, the new label of Creative Director John Smithson, has been working on I, Sniper. This 6 x 1hr serial tells the story of the DC Snipers, the two men who terrorised Washington DC in a city still traumatised by 9/11 one year earlier, killing people at random over 23 days of terror. This is the definitive account of an iconic American crime, told with law enforcement, survivors and victims’ families and, uniquely, in the words of the surviving shooter, in a series of calls from his supermax cell.
In conversation with Rachael Brown, John Smithson talks for the first time about the creative challenges of the genre, ahead of I, Sniper’s release.