A brief video overview of the project. Can also see on Vimeo...
The Spring 2016 television miniseries, The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story was based on the trial of football legend OJ Simpson who was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. The televised trial was notable for the resulting media circus and making those involved into soap opera characters; some consider the trial to be a precursor to modern reality shows. The series even makes small nods to defense attorney Robert Kardashian’s children who later became reality stars. Social media demonstrated two types of reactions to the series; either viewers were remembering what happened OR treating the show as entertainment since they were too young or born after the trial. While biopics are typically centered on one protagonist, the series instead featured an assemble of several ambitious lead characters while OJ Simpson functions more as supporting character. This treatment echoes the sentiment that the trial was larger than Simpson or the crime itself.
The initial focus of the design will be the Emmy-winning 6th episode, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" - the title references Jan Brady's jealousy of her sister Marcia on The Brady Bunch - intersects all of these themes of sexism, racism, and celebrity the most. No one is jealous of Marcia Clark; instead, the talk is all about her appearance and barely anything about her job as the lead prosecutor. Clark is in the middle of a divorce that has made her a single mother juggling to take care of her children while prosecuting the "Trial of the Century." We also see OJ. Simpson's "Dream Team" of lawyers beginning to weave a story of systemic racism in the Los Angeles Police Department through cross examination that plants a seed of reasonable doubt in the jury. Lastly, nameless network executives begin taking advantage of the high ratings that supersede those of the usual afternoon soap opera fare, and make plans to expand coverage into primetime programming.
Since viewers were either re-living or experiencing these events as fictional work, can documents and first-hand accounts be used as insights in a companion tool to dive deep into the fictionalized version of the series?
Questions and Challenges of the Design
Click around on the Final Prototype yourself!
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