Who are the men burdened with the responsibility of executing those sentenced to the death penalty? Arcanum Pictures' There Will Be No Stay gives a face to these previously anonymous executioners - those who have been, as one man states, "murdering people for society's revenge."
First time director Patty Ann Dillon has been developing this project for years, alongside her work as a stuntperson on Eastbound and Down. The film's recently launched Kickstarter hopes to raise funds for a portion of the post-production costs, like music licensing, coloring and sound mixing. From the Kickstarter:
This is a first-hand look at executioners, the pressures they’re put under, and the unbearable toll the act of taking another’s life has on their own.
There Will Be No Stay explores the intersecting lives of a team of executioners, speaking publicly for the first time ever, on their own paths to discovering freedom from their personal prisons. It is a journey of compassion and consequence through a process shrouded in secrecy.
As you can see from the trailer above, There Will Be No Stay is a nearly completed feature film, but the road here has not been an easy one. Writer-director Patty Ann Dillon began her own journey with the film over five years ago as she set out to make a documentary not about people on death row, the crimes that put them there, or the legal system that passed down their sentence, but the individuals no one ever talks about: the executioners.
As you can imagine, making a movie about a process that no one ever talks about is a bit of a struggle considering, well, no one wants to talk about it. The identities of executioners are rarely publicly disclosed, and sadly often only become known after they have committed suicide, an act that is too common in this line of duty. Many false starts and closed doors later, Patty eventually found two men who were willing to invite her into their deeply private lives and go on the record about how they became executioners, what the job is truly like, and how it changed their lives forever.
This looks like a powerful, reflective film about a population of the criminal system we don't spend much time considering. It feels like a story that needs to be shared.