E05 – Morgen Whiteman | Making The True Crime Genre More Equitable
Morgen Whiteman is a film and television director with a background as a filmmaker-in-residence in Ghana, and a 2022 Stowe Story Labs finalist for the SAGIndie’s Top Emerging Filmmaker of Color Fellowship. Morgen is a graduate of the AFI Conservatory’s Directing MFA Program, and her films have been featured as official selections at numerous film festivals. She has directed talent with credits on All American, Wonder Woman, and We Own This City. Morgen has a passion for the thriller and science fiction genres, especially speculative fiction. Her work can be best described as “allegories set in heightened realities”.
Currently, Morgen is crowdfunding for her crime thriller limited series Apophenia. This 5-minute 5-episode series follows Eva Nicholson, a struggling recluse who falls into the public spotlight as a superhero when a series of premonitions lead her to a serial killer moments away from claiming the life of his next victim. As Eva basks in the attention, her boyfriend, Daniel, is the only person even remotely concerned that Eva also brutally murdered the serial killer in the process. Then it happens again. And again. And as Eva’s body count rises, so do the suspicions surrounding who, or what, she really is.
It is estimated that 2 out of 3 Americans enjoy true crime/crime thriller content. Meanwhile, the canon of fictional serial killers in film are most often middle-aged heterosexual white men. Studies have shown that the homogeneity of the serial killer profile reinforces the societal hierarchy in America. In a bold way, Apophenia tackles representation, diversity, equity, and inclusion, by mitigating the constant barrage of victimization on individuals who experience oppression in real life.
It is said that women are often interested in true crime because these stories make them feel more prepared for the horrors that exist in the real world. Apophenia is a series that will not capitalize on the victimization of women (or minorities), which is a significant psycho-social shift.