Writers, directors and executive producers of Making a Murderer Part 2 Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos reveal their experiences depicting the latest installment of Steven Avery's trial for murder. Listen to learn about the difference between telling the story of a man accused versus the story of a man convicted. Please note that this Q+A contains spoilers for Making a Murderer parts 1 and 2.
1. Churning out the series in real time
The creators of Making a Murderer wanted the second series to be as close to the real-life timeline as possible. In fact, the series covers events up to July of this year, so the breakneck pace seems to have paid off.
We had to find a way to do the same in-depth, layered storytelling and yet be almost as current as the news.
2. The difference between Parts 1 and 2
In Part 2 it's really the experience of being convicted, trying to fight to prove your innocence from behind bars.
The two parts of Making a Murderer show very different points of the same story. Forming a case while in prison presents a separate set of challenges, and Avery's new defense lawyer Kathleen Zellner changes tack accordingly.
3. In response to critics
As is common for documentaries covering real criminal cases, concern over whether or not Making a Murderer included every relevant detail of the Steven Avery case was a hot topic immediately following its broadcast. The creators insist that misleading the viewer in favour of Avery would not only be easy to spot, but it would also weaken the series as a whole. Without something formidable to contend with, there is no story.
We always considered paramount the integrity of the project. As a storyteller, especially the way we tell this story, we treat it as a narrative documentary. And at the centre of that is drama. What is drama but conflict?
4. Staying till the end
We did think that, should [Steven Avery be released from prison], we wanted to be there on the day of release.
At the end of shooting for the first series, the team behind Making a Murderer had planned to be present for Avery's release should he be found innocent. As it is, their commitment to the ongoing story continues.