About this submission

A normal school day in rural Wyoming becomes combative as students flip tables, dog-pile on trainers armed with plastic guns, and ponder whether they could fight back in a real shooting. Over 1,000 miles away on a southern California beach, a child psychologist watches her own children play in the waves after counseling a middle schooler with active shooter drill anxiety. She warns that if we don’t start researching now, it could take 17 years before society knows the consequences of conducting aggressive drills in schools.

Tulsa, OK, USA
McKinleigh Lair is a freelance documentary cinematographer and producer, currently working as an Associate Producer for VICE. She filmed with pregnant black women and their doulas for Aftershock (Sundance Impact for Change award) and has traveled across the US shooting for VICE's award-winning news program, covering environmental racism in Louisiana (NAMIC Vision Award nomination), the GameStop short squeeze (Emmy nomination) Austin’s homelessness problem, New Mexico’s energy-reliant education system, the breast milk business, Breonna Taylor police trials, and covid-era evictions. She produced, shot, and edited 19 micro-documentaries in Oklahoma for the Webby Award nominated PBS American Portrait, receiving personal recognition from Tulsa World. She produced and edited an environmental documentary premiering with Alabama Public TV as a Southern Exposure Documentary Fellow. As a Congress-Bundestag Young Professional Fellow, she worked on a Fulbright Scholar’s German memorial culture documentary, developed a photography project Städtepartnerschaft, sister cities, and audited masters-level television journalism and photography coursework while learning the German language (B1 fluency.) She cut her teeth assisting on productions for Kartemquin Films (including a 3x Edward R Murrow winning immersive series and a ‘cliteracy’ documentary that premiered with SXSW), The New York Times | The Weekly (photo credit in the Sickle Cell story), and screening for three seasons of POV | American Documentary – all while making You Know the Drill, which streamed for 2 years with PBS. Forthcoming projects featuring her camerawork include features for Motto Pictures, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Mint Pictures, Firelight Films, and a docu-series by Kenny Ortega and Kristen Chenoweth. McKinleigh holds a BA in Documentary Studies and Production with an Anthropology minor from Ithaca College, where she was a Park Scholar, studied abroad three times (in Seoul, London, and Jönköping, Sweden) and directed the College Emmy nominated One Nation Under Guns. She’s made documentaries since high school and one of these early projects was nominated for a Heartland Emmy. She owns a C300 mkii, Mavic 2 Pro drone, and sound gear, is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance, Documentary Cinematographers Alliance, and has an FAA Part 107 certification. mckinleighlair@gmail.com more...

Join the Discussion