True crime net Investigation Discovery’s upcoming six-part series The Night That Didn’t End examines the lingering impact of homicide on those closest to the victim.
Produced by Culver City-based AMPLE Entertainment, the 6 x 60-minute series follows six murder stories, each told through the memories of the families, friends and investigators close to the case, and the images from that time that still haunt those affected. These painful memories can also contain helpful clues that help detectives piece together the final hours of the victim’s life.
Realscreen caught up with Ari Mark, co-founder of AMPLE, to learn more about their latest project for ID.
The premiere episode bows tonight Nov 27. at 11 p.m. ET/PT, with regular episodes premiering Dec 13. at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The interview below has been edited for clarity and brevity.
What was the genesis behind The Night That Didn’t End?
As we continue to produce true crime series we started developing relationships with the families of murder victims. Time and again we were blown away by what these people go through, the sort of post-traumatic stress they experience after the murder of a loved one. The rawness of what they are forced to remember and relive again and again made us realize there’s a format here and it’s powerful and it’s ubiquitous across these stories.
How did you decide on the structure of the series?
We try to let the story drive structure of acts as much as possible and stay flexible in post. But we worked very closely with Diana Sperrazza, an executive producer at ID, who understands the audience so intimately that carefully trickling out key information at the right time becomes a careful ep-by-ep conversation where that structure stays pretty fluid.
How did you search out the stories featured in the series and decide on which ones to cover?
Anyone who produces these types of series knows how vital and challenging casting can be. We make sure to keep the bar high and not settle for stories that don’t really live up to the best representation of the series. For stories where we have a family’s trust, the ones who understand that this is a series that puts substance and emotion first, that’s where we can really get something special on camera.
Did you have any production challenges while filming?
We were getting ready to head to North Carolina for episode four when the hurricane hit. One of the detectives in the story had his homes flattened by the storm and the entire community was underwater for weeks. We are used to dealing with production issues but on a human level, it was doubly emotional when we went back for interviews. Haven’t these people been through enough?
What do you think is unique to the series that will make it stand out in the true crime genre?
Depth. Emotion. And the photography that underscores and elevates that emotion. Something happens to a person when you ask them to access the deepest corners of their memory, especially when it’s memories they wish they could forget, and that hopefully will feel special for the audience.
How does the series fit with AMPLE’s other portfolio of true crime titles?
We try to stay very aware of the true crime audience and what they like, what’s familiar to them. But if we can take that familiarity and challenge it just a bit, rethink it a little, even with just a camera angle, a sound, a moment – then we’ve offered the audience something that they didn’t expect within the context of their world. They may not recognize it, but they’ll feel it and that matters. We try to do that across all our shows.