Freelance filmmaker John Ireland and
co-producer John Ainsworth have released their first episode of the
gay marriage trial on YouTube.
Ireland began filming video
re-enactments of the federal trial to decide the constitutionality of
Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban approved by California voters in
2008, after the Supreme Court blocked a broadcast plan that would
have included daily YouTube postings. The trial entered its second
week on Tuesday in a San Francisco courtroom.
The first episode, available at
recreates the trial's emotional opening day which included testimony
by the suit's four plaintiffs. Storytelling is based on the accounts
of bloggers present at the trial.
“People want to see this drama unfold
and there is a tremendous narrative that was propelled by that first
day of testimony,” Ireland told On Top Magazine. “This is
the first time that gay and lesbian people have talked about their
lives in federal court. It's historic from that point of view.”
After casting the trial's main
characters, filming began last weekend. The University of Southern
California Gould School of Law has made a mock courtroom available
for filming. The team is being advised by USC law professor David B.
A widely publicized Craigslist.com
casting call was scrapped in favor of professional actors.
“One thing that is significant, is
that we were able to become SAG-signatory,” Ireland said in an
email. “In fact, we did not cast anyone off of Craigslist.com, as
we were signed by Friday and posted the breakdowns through The
Ireland has a personal stake in the
trial. In 2004 he married Duncan Crabtree in San Francisco City Hall
after Mayor Gavin Newsom instructed the County Clerk's office to
issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Newsom's decision began a
domino effect that eventually led to voters approving Proposition 8
four years later.