producer | director | camera

Anywhere But Washington

Donald Trump’s election was a historic event that defied the expectations of the political and media establishment in the United States and around the world. I traveled the country with my colleagues at the Guardian, Paul Lewis and Tom Silverstone, to produce, shoot and edit this series that explores what America’s most overlooked places and people reveal about a nation divided.

Tom Silverstone and I alternated making these 10-12 minute episodes with correspondent Paul Lewis, which published weekly from September 2016 until election day, and then monthly thereafter. The series was viewed more than 15 million times and was a 2017 Webby Awards honoree.

Here are a few of my favorite episodes, to see the whole series, visit Anywhere But Washington.

Episode 14: Richard Ojeda, a retired army major, is a Democrat running in a West Virginia district that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016. But how does a leftwing populist with the backing of Silicon Valley billionaires explain his own vote for the president? Two years after his first visit to coal country, Paul Lewis finds out.

Episode 13: As Donald Trump seeks congressional support for his border wall, the Guardian’s Paul Lewis meets Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona sheriff recently pardoned by Trump, and other local Republicans who are enraged over what they describe as an ‘invasion’ from Mexico. But he discovers a very different view among the Tohono O’odham Nation, a Native American tribe with members on both sides of the border.

Episode 12: Trump’s presidency may be in crisis. But Paul Lewis finds the president’s supporters in Montana are not wavering. Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, a millionaire tech entrepreneur, is latching onto Trump in the hope it will give him an edge over Democrat Rob Quist, a country musician and poet.

Episode 10: Donald Trump assumed office promising to take on the political elites and return power to the people. In this dispatch from the inauguration, Paul Lewis discovers a president already relishing his status as leader of a new Washington establishment. But his followers, the self-declared ‘deplorables’, are keeping the faith.

Episode 9: Days before the election, a historic African American church in the Mississippi delta was set on fire in and vandalized with the words ‘Vote Trump’. Paul Lewis visits the city of Greenville, where the story behind the burning of Hopewell Missionary Baptist church takes an unexpected turn – and prompts some difficult conversations about race relations.

Episode 15: With record numbers of female candidates in the US midterm elections, Paul Lewis travels to New Mexico, where both the Democrat and the Republican standing for a House seat are women. He finds women divided – over Trump, the MeToo movement, and Deb Haaland, a Democrat campaigning to be the first Native American woman elected to Congress.