On Thursday, March 9th Fox hosted a red carpet premiere screening of their upcoming television series “Shots Fired” at New York City’s Paley Center for Media.
In attendance were series creators/executive producers Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Bythewood along with cast members Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James, Mack Wilds, Richard Dreyfuss and Jill Hennessy.
After the premiere episode was screened for members of the press and others in attendance, the series creators and cast spoke about the series and how real life cases of young black men being slain affected the production of the series. The series’ lead actress Sanaa Lathan spoke about a particular incident that occurred during filming that struck a chord saying:
“We came in one day, we were in the middle of shooting, it was a grueling shoot because we basically shot these 10 hours in the time it normally takes you to shoot one film so it’s kind of like doing four films in the time you take to do one film so it was grueling. It was in July and there was a record number of murders of black men by police officers and we were just bombarded with this. We had a black female first AD named and I think it was Philando had just gotten murdered, and we came in and she was wrecked and she was crying and we just couldn’t start the day. We were all kind of just destroyed from just the bombardment and just the shock and the awe of I can’t believe this is still happening over and over again. And we had a prayer circle and we had a moment of silence and it really dropped in on us how important it was that we asked for grace in this work for all these souls that were gone. In a weird way as an actor you have to do a lot of imagination work to get into character and in a weird way unfortunately the work was done for us because it was right there. It was chilling at times and it wasn’t like we were pulling they had started developing it five years before so it was a lot of weird synchronicity with the timing of it all.”
Shots Fired which consists of 10 hour long episodes examines the aftermath of shootings of unarmed young men at the hands of police in a southern community. The series will premiere on Fox on March 22nd at 8pm EST.[slideshow]
Photo Credit: Bernard Smalls