Project Summary

“The Trial” is a educational video series featuring reenactment scenes from a real court case. The films will be integrated into an online training platform, which will serve as an interactive companion piece to a soon-to-be-released textbook. The purpose of the films is to teach law students about how to effectively raise and argue objections during trial.

Characters

Charles Gray, The Defendant

Working class, uncomfortable wearing a suit. Uses anger to hide fear and believes the lies he tells about himself.

Clarice Gray, The Defendant’s Wife

Convinced, despite any evidence, that her husband has extraordinary potential. Married young because she needed shelter from the storms in her life.

Timothy Tate, The Victim’s Friend

A cautious counter-puncher who prefers to react to opportunities rather than take the initiative. Wants justice for his dear friend, but is mystified by the courtroom.

Detective Puffman, The Prosecution’s Expert

Is used to being the arbitrator of justice rather than being a pawn in a trial. Trusts his / her gut and trusts that the ends usually justify the means.

Marion Wood, Defense Counsel

Cerebral and prepared. Believes that she can both outthink and outwork her opponent. Her lack of trial experience causes insecurity, but the insecurity is her fuel to meet any challenge. Responds to attempts at intimidation with intellectual smugness.

John McEwan, Prosecutor

Competitive and doesn’t like to be challenged in the courtroom. Believes the best narrative always wins a trial, and therefore whenever he’s speaking in the courtroom, he’s advancing his narrative.

Narrator

Opens each scene with a short speech to contextualize the situation.

Story Synopsis

On May 10, 2017, Charles Gray and his wife, Clarice, were returning to their apartment after attending a party at a friend’s house. Charles later admitted to the police that he drank a beer and snorted a small amount of cocaine at the party. As Charles was reading something on his cell phone, Clarice walked ahead of him. She encountered two men, Victor Vittima and Timothy Tate, who were fixing their car on a street corner.

None of the parties knew each other. Both parties agree that Victor said something crass to Clarice, although the sides do not agree on what was said. Clarice claims that Victor asked her, “How much for sex?” while Timothy claims that Victor made a pass at Clarice.

When Charles caught up to Clarice, he suspected that something inappropriate was said. A verbal confrontation began to escalate on the street, but Charles and Clarice left and walked a half a block to their apartment.

Within 15 minutes, Charles came back to the street corner and confronted Timothy and Victor. Again, the sides do not agree on what happened next. Charles claims that at his apartment, he learned what the two men had said to his wife and became outraged. He alleges that he went to the street only to tell the men off, not to fight them. Charles was armed with a .22 caliber pistol when he approached. He claims that he immediately felt threatened by the two men, so he pulled out his gun in self-defense. Feeling threatened, he fired, hitting Victor in the chest and killing him.

Timothy paints a different picture. He alleges that when Charles returned to street corner, he immediately fired his gun at Victor and then ran away.

Charles was charged with murder in the first degree. His story about the night in question has varied in some respects. Most notably, he initially told the police that he obtained his gun at his apartment shortly after Clarice told him what was said to her on the street corner. As you will discover, he possesses an extensive gun collection. At trial, Charles changed his story; he now claims that he possessed the gun throughout the night due to fear that his bookie, to whom he owed a great deal of money, was going to cause him harm.

You will also discover that Charles and his wife have had a troubled past. Charles has a prior felony conviction for carrying a concealed weapon. Clarice has a prior arrest for prostitution, although no charges were filed. When she arrested on that charge, however, she gave a false name to the police.

Tentative Shooting Dates by Character

Charles Gray; May 25-28

Luke Jackson; May 25-28

Marion Wood; May 25-28

John McEwan; May 25-28

Timothy Tate; May 25

Clarice Gray; May 27

Detective Puffman; May 28

Narrator; May 28

Rehearsal dates are currently TBD, but will be scheduled with each character to occur on a day that falls within 2 weeks leading up to the first day of shooting (May 25).

Compensation

This is a PAID NON-UNION project. Rate to be disclosed upon submission.

Ready to Audition?

Send us an email at info@zemmaproductions.com.