*AT&T’s Audience Network is producing a documentary from actor Vince Vaughn that focuses on the relationship between African American communities and the police, reports Deadline.com.
The untitled work hails from Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Productions and will be directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, known for ESPN’s “30 For 30: The Two Escobars.”
“The concept is really to humanize people on both sides. I’ve had friends who’ve grown up in that environment, I’ve also had friends who are police officers, and there’s a lot of fear on both sides,” Vaughn told Deadline.com. “I think the situation causes a lot of problems, so it’s really a chance to sit with the people and getting access to them and seeing their daily lives.”
Network head Chris Long told Deadline, “We were interested in something that’s happening in the media, but that part of the story’s not being told. We said to ourselves, ‘You can’t do it in a soundbite, you can’t do it with four people on a split screen arguing. You have to find out what’s the real struggle, and that’s part of getting the story to be authentic.”
Vaughn has been working on the documentary for the past year. Long said he envisioned the documentary in the production vein of “Hoop Dreams.”
“I said [to Vaughn], ‘Listen, I would embed. “Hoop Dreams,” that was a five-year embedment. Let’s get people who’ve been in a difficult situation and directors who are willing to commit.’ These guys went to the top of the list, agreed with what we were thinking and wanted to make the same thing we were making.”
“I want you tell me what’s a year in the life of a kid who has to live in this environment and has no opportunity,” Long added, “and then we wonder why children go down the path they do. We wanted both sides of it, we didn’t just want the kids’ point of view, we wanted the police point of view.”