Life & Death Row

Nat Geo

You Ask

We have a really sensitive topic, a heartbreaking series focusing on Death Row inmates. We need a respectful yet theatrical piece giving equal time to both the victims and inmates in these stories.

We Answer

We enjoy collaborating with Sr. Writer/ Producer of Creative, Sarah Lavoie who consistently has a clear & strong vision for the stories she wants to tell. For this particular piece, there was a lot of sensitivity surrounding the content, something we are very adept at handling. While Justin tackled the edit, Heather and the design team got to work conceptualizing design ideas for both the text cards and title treatment and presented a few design directions. One leaned into this shredded paper look, building on the idea that these inmates were being erased from the earth like their victims had been. The thin vertical lines are also reminiscent of slatted bars to reinforce that no matter what role, inmate or victim, both sides are living an imprisoned life.

Haunting negative images

For the second concept, we leaned more into this place of iconography. Haunting negative space, desaturated and cold, to focus solely on the items that wouldn be present and used in these impending executions.

Title cards with haunting imagary

The decision was made in edit to instead focus on the chilling first hand accounts from the inmates, victims’ family members and jurors so the cut was majority footage based, using the graphic treatment for the title animation and closing network logo only.

Staying curious is one of our brand values and this project required that of all involved. We learned a lot from this series and always appreciate how genuine and thought provoking these series are. To be able to safely step into someone’s shoes is a gift and hopefully this series will inspire more people to forgive, understand, and have genuine empathy for others.