Only the people who have been through it can truly understand the experience of having been wrongfully convicted and sent to prison. But a new, 360-degree immersive video will allow viewers to gain greater understanding than ever before of what it is to “walk a mile in my shoes” when you are an exoneree who spent almost 40 years in prison.
That is the experience of Rickey Jackson of Cleveland, Ohio, who was exonerated in 2014. One of the longest-serving exonerees in U.S. history, the realities of his surreal, new post-prison life can be uniquely understood through the release of “Send Me Home,” a 360-degree video experience conceived and produced by Lonelyleap Film.
“Send Me Home” invites participants to take a journey in 360 degrees, as Rickey grants us entry into his private world, guiding us through time gone, family known and the spaces he lovingly embraces today. The 360-degree video transports participants into Rickey’s mindspace, urging them to reflect on the expanse of their own lives in relation to the time Rickey has lost.
Rickey was represented by the Ohio Innocence Project, which ultimately secured his release from a death sentence that began with a wrongful conviction in a 1975 murder case.
Before a witness recantation led to his exoneration and release, Rickey spent four decades in prison for a murder he did not commit. Despite the unforgivable circumstances and disorientation experienced in returning home, Rickey has seized his second chance.
The Innocence Network reports that 79 percent of their exonerated clients who were arrested for crimes that occurred when they were minors are people of color. They also confirm that innocent black people convicted of murder spend nearly three years longer in prison before release than their white counterparts. These numbers reflect a systemic pattern of racial inequity, and experiencing “Send Me Home” helps to humanize these statistics for viewers.
A video trailer about this project (which is in a conventional format and not the 360-degree experience) can be viewed at: http://sendmehome360.com/.
Lonelyleap is an independently owned production company based in the heart of New York City and London. We create award-winning work across documentary, advertising and digital, helping our clients find new audiences and change perceptions. We are a uniquely in-house studio to ensure each and every piece of work is delivered to the highest standard. Connect with Lonelyleap at www.lonelyleap.com and @Lonelyleap on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About the Ohio Innocence Project:
Founded in 2003 at the University of Cincinnati Law School, the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) has helped exonerate 27 wrongfully convicted citizens who served a total of more than 500 years behind bars, one of the most productive records of successful advocacy in the international Innocence Network. OIP’s goal is simple and clear: to free every innocent person in Ohio who has been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. Work on each case is done by OIP Fellows, who are current UC Law students, giving them practical experience digging deep into real cases. OIP is part of the Rosenthal Institute for Justice, established and supported by the family of Lois and Richard Rosenthal. OIP can be found on the Web at law.uc.edu and @OhioInnocenceProject on Facebook and Twitter.
Original Title: Send Me Home
Format: 360 Video
Running time: 13 minutes
Director + Producer
There are a number of ways to experience Send Me Home, though we’ve outlined our recommendations for events below. Please note that all events will need access to a wifi connection. Send Me Home can be viewed on a mobile device with headphones, on a mobile device inserted into a cardboard headset with headphones, or a desktop computer. We recommend one of the first two viewing methods.
Option 1: Auditorium setup with 10 stations consisting of a swivel chair and cardboard headset. Participants would reserve a 15 min slot with the event coordinator prior to come watch the film in the lead up to the start time of the event with speakers/talks/q&a.
Option 2: A large open space such as a black box theater, gym or field house could be used for people to gather and watch the film in the same space but on their individual devices (Seating provided for those who are unable to stand). Again this would be a prelude to an event with speakers/talks/q&a.
*For Option 1 & 2 – Participants should download the YouTube app prior to the event. Without the YouTube app the film will not display correctly on a phone or tablet. Staff or volunteers should be available to help participants load the film and insert into the cardboard.
Option 3: A laptop or other device capable of being connected to project on a screen could be used to play the film for the entire audience, who would be seated. Someone could (if desired) manipulate the 360 video or it could be left to play through. This option is not optimal, as it will not allow viewers to experience the 360 film or audio.