About The Film
Every year, almost 40,000 people are killed by guns in America. Each shooting devastates and forever changes the victim’s family and friends. The new feature documentary, Behind the Bullet, explores a side of gun violence that’s rarely talked about- the impact a shooting has on the shooter. The film answers the question, what does shooting and killing someone do to a person whose intentions are good. Each subject in the film tells the story of how the pull of a trigger, changed them emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually. The complexity of each scenario plays out as they describe the conflicting emotions and moral injury that comes after a self-defense shooting, an accidental shooting or an unintentional shooting.
Who Made This Film?
Heidi Yewman, Director & Producer
Heidi’s passion for gun violence prevention began in 1999 when her former basketball coach and teacher, Dave Sanders was killed in the Columbine High School massacre along with 12 students. Heidi is a graduate of Columbine.
In 2009 she wrote the book, Beyond the Bullet: Personal Stories of Gun Violence Aftermath, profiling 19 people forever altered by the impact of gun violence. She is a tireless advocate for gun safety, sitting on the boards of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Women Donors Network, Stop our Shootings, and Trauma Intervention Program of Portland, OR. Heidi’s vast experience working with trauma victims, advocating for gun violence solutions, and community organizing has inspired her to find unique ways to look at gun violence which creates a more meaningful dialog.
Heidi has been published in USA Today, Ms. Magazine, The Seattle Times, The Oregonian and the Columbian. Heidi’s four-part series, My Month With a Gun was published in The Denver Post, Ms. Magazine and The Daily Beast.
Skye Fitzgerald, Co-Producer
Skye Fitzgerald was recently inducted as an honorary member into SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society) for his work with Syrian refugees and named a Distinguished Alumnus at his alma mater, Eastern Oregon University for documentary work. Designated a Fulbright Research Scholar to produce the film Bombhunters in Cambodia, Fitzgerald has since collaborated or received support from the Sundance Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the State Department, the Paul Robeson Fund and Mountainfilm.
As a Director of Photography, Fitzgerald has lensed work for major broadcast and cable strands throughout the world including Dateline NBC, VICE , Mercy Corps, CNN, the Discovery, Travel and History Channels, ABC, CNBC, NHK, and recently shot an entire season of the new Animal Planet show, Amanda to the Rescue. In the documentary world, Fitzgerald directed 101 Seconds, LIFEBOAT, and 50 Feet from Syria. More info at: Spinfilm.org
Dan Sadowsky, Editor
Over the last two decades, Dan Sadowsky has practiced the craft of narrative storytelling for a variety of media. Sadowsky has written for newspapers, magazines and organizations, led interactive content projects as web team leader at Mercy Corps and produced multimedia stories for OPB. Sadowsky’s editing credits include 50 Feet From Syria, 101 Seconds, and LIFEBOAT. More info at: http://storymind.productions
Why Behind The Bullet?
I made Behind the Bullet because I wanted to know what it feels like to be the "good guy with a gun."
I wanted to look at gun violence from a different angle. I wanted to get past the hyperbole and the entrenched arguments and instead explore a viewpoint nobody thinks about: what happens when you use a gun for the purpose that it’s designed for - to shoot someone.
The Columbine High School 1999 massacre is where it all began for me. I graduated from Columbine 13 years before the shooting and one of the victims was my former basketball coach Dave Sanders. As I sat at his memorial service watching my traumatized teachers weeping, one of the speakers said, “We can’t control what happens. But we can control how we respond.”
After that, I got active.
I wrote a book Beyond the Bullet about 19 people who were shot and how it affected them and their families. As I wrote the book I started to think about the people who pulled the triggers; the people who were behind those bullets.
That led me to write a four-piece series for Ms. Magazine, My Month With a Gun where I carried a 9mm Glock with me everywhere I went so I could experience the emotional and physical ramifications of always being prepared to defend myself and my family from a bad guy.
That experience evolved into Behind the Bullet. The four stories in my documentary focus on common gun violence situations - suicide, accidental child shootings, street crime, and the widespread fear of a home invasion.