Official Statement From the Producers of Lawtown:
Q: Why did you decided on making a documentary about Lawrence?
This is tough because at first I don’t think we knew what we were making.
There were ideas of a show, movie, short film, online video… One day, I received news that a close childhood friend had overdosed and passed away. This was obviously tough to hear and had really made me sick to my stomach. At the time, I really had no clue what was going on in New England and how much drug addiction had taken over.
It was probably 1-2 months after that I kept reading online of other people I had known, or friends of friends that were overdosing on heroin. Being a filmmaker I felt like this was something that needed to be documented. So, we we set out and just started to shoot and ask important questions. At first the focus of this documentary was on the entire New England area. However, after countless interviews and conversations they almost all pointed to Lawrence, Massachusetts as the main focal point.
Q: What was it about Lawrence that stuck out with you?
Lawrence is an amazing town with some incredible, hardworking, and devoted people. During the shooting of the film we had the opportunity to meet, interview, and chat with so many different faces. I think the one thing that stuck out to me is how much pride everyone had in their city.
Q: How did you find the characters in your film? Why did you focus on the people you focused on?
It was kind of crazy because I feel like we didn’t really find these people. It felt like they came to us either through recommendation or personal connection. We focused on them because they are either knowledgeable or have inspiring stories. We felt that through these stories people could either relate or see what changes could be made.
Q: What was the process of filming this documentary like? How long did it take from start to finish?
Like any movie, its not easy. Especially a documentary because its not scripted, its real life. There was a couple months of preparation trying to line up interviews and meetings. Then production finally began. We shot for over the course of a year or so a couple weeks at a time. It was a tiny crew that all worked on this for labor of love. The cool part about this is we were able to edit as we went. We had an amazing editor that could log footage and really help us sculpt the story we wanted to tell.
Q: What do you hope people take away from the film? What do you want them to learn? Understand and know?
I think for a film like this it is really easy to look at the negatives. However, as I mentioned before, there are so many beautiful people in New England and Lawrence especially. The intention for this film was to bring awareness and try to come up with a solution for this opioid problem. Too many people are dying and we need to do something. As one of the subjects of this film said a number of times during shooting, what’s happening in Lawrence is happening everywhere. Lawrence is microcosm for the rest of the country. What’s happening in Lawrence is happening in every community in the United States. We know Lawrence isn’t the problem, our hope is that we can use what is happening in Lawrence to start to find solutions.