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.

These are the episodes that I made, starting with my favorites.

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 7: For many voters, the 2016 US presidential election has become a referendum on Donald Trump’s treatment of women. Paul Lewis and Adithya Sambamurthy travel to Las Vegas to meet Republican women standing by their candidate – and their energized opponents who are determined to stop his bid for the White House.

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 8 (co-produced with Tom Silverstone): For three months, the Anywhere but Washington series shed light on people and places shaping the presidential election. This dispatch, from Nevada, captures the hope and despair behind a stunning election result – and explains the reasons behind Donald Trump’s remarkable ascent to the White House.

Episode 13: Vladimir Putin’s favorability ratings have tripled among Republicans in recent years. To find out why, Paul Lewis travelled to deeply conservative Alabama, before next week’s Republican Senate primary to choose a replacement for Jeff Sessions. Could Putin’s rising popularity be explained through the Christian evangelicals backing Roy Moore, the famed ‘Ten Commandments Judge’ turned Senate frontrunner?

Episode 11: A progressive rebellion is brewing in Georgia. The special election to replace Donald Trump’s health secretary, Tom Price, should have been a shoo-in for Republicans. Instead, Paul Lewis discovers Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old film-maker, is dominating the sixth district race as anti-Trump sentiment fuels his unlikely bid for Congress.

Episode 1 (co-produced with Tom Silverstone): Decades of industrial decline are prompting white, working-class Democrats to reassess their political loyalties, and now many plan to vote for Donald Trump.