New Showtime Documentary Series – “Active Shooter”

By Doug Gritzmacher

Denver Director of Photography & Cinematographer

A new documentary series called “Active Shooter” I contributed to is now airing on Showtime. This is the second Showtime documentary I have had the pleasure of contributing to. The first was “Years of Living Dangerously,” which went on to win an Emmy Award for best documentary series.


Each episode of “Active Shooter” covers a recent mass shooting. The final episode is about the Columbine shooting. The “Active Shooter” crew traveled all over the country shooting their episodes. While in Denver they needed someone local to work as an additional camera operator. One of the producers on the crew was a producer on “Dr. Feelgood,” a documentary feature film I contributed to now available on Netflix. It was nice to be reunited and work with her again.

It was also an opportunity to work with the Arri Amira camera, something I never pass up. The camera is intuitive and easy to operate. It produces fantastic images and reproduces some of the best skin tones available.


I’ve watched the series and the Columbine episode is the one that stands out to me the most. That’s not because I worked on it, but because it does a terrific job of pealing back the myths that have been associated with the shooting since it happened. Most of what we all assume to be true about the events and the motivations are, in fact, false. But it is these myths that have inspired so many copycat shooters.


That leads me to what I loved most about this series. Mass shootings result from numerous causes. One of the principle causes is the media, which plays a larger role than they are willing to recognize. In an effort to scoop the competition, the media will run with any mortal of information following a shooting they can, regardless of it’s veracity. That kind of irresponsibility is what has lead to the creation of myths that have spurred more mass shooters.


This is an important documentary series and I highly recommend watching it.

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