Witness 360: 7/7

Darren Emerson

Witness 360: 7/7

Film Synopsis

On the 7th July 2005 Jacqui Putnam stepped on to a Circle Line train in London on her way to work; a journey she had taken many times before. At 08:50 am Mohammad Sidique Khan would detonate a bomb in the carriage next to hers. This is the story of her day, the immediate aftermath of the explosion and her road to recovery.

The film combines personal testimony, reconstruction, and abstract imagery to take the viewer on a powerful multi-sensory journey into the heart of one survivor’s extraordinary story.

Witness 360: 7/7 marks the beginning of a new wave of immersive documentary story telling.

Directors Notes on the Film

Throughout the making of this film I was deeply conscious of the responsibility I had to tell Jacqui’s story in a way that would honor, not only her integrity, but also the lives of everyone affected by this tragic event.

The goal with the film was to take a global event like the London 7/7 Bombings, and offer a new narrative that focused on the emotional journey of one person. I felt VR and 360 filming presented us a unique medium in which to do this.

I also knew quite quickly that I wanted to create a dream like world within the documentary, that used abstract imagery, and visual metaphors to pull the viewer closer, not only to the story, but also to Jacqui’s internal feelings and mindset. What the VR medium allows unlike any other is a heighten sense of empathy.  It allowed us to visually create an emotional space for Jacqui’s story that the audience could occupy and begin to understand this extraordinary and devastating event.  For me this connection is powerful, and deeply humanistic and it is something that I want to continue to explore in my filmmaking.

It has been a great privilege to be able to tell Jacqui Putnum’s story in this documentary.  She is an amazing, resilient and engaging person, who whilst dealing with this trauma, actively seeks to help and support others that have faced similar extreme events.