When Wellington filmmaker Richard Jackson read about a $4 settlement to the family of Fort Pierce resident Greg Hill, he was outraged, and it led to a movie now available on Amazon.
Hill was unwinding in his garage in 2014 playing loud music. A parent picking up their child at the elementary school across the street called 911 to complain about the loud music coming from Hill’s home. Less than 10 minutes later, Hill lay dead on his garage floor. The next hours would see a standoff that ended with SWAT helicopters, robots and tear gas. A civil trial that concluded in May 2018 awarded the family just $4 — $1 for each child and $1 for funeral expenses. They also found Hill 99 percent responsible, reducing the settlement to 4 cents.
“That made no sense to me,” Jackson said. “I never heard about the shooting, but the settlement gained some national media coverage. I saw a lot of myself in what Mr. Hill was doing to unwind. As a father myself, it cut deep.”
Jackson felt an overwhelming urge to tell the story. “I reached out to his fiancée on social media, and within days, I was in Fort Pierce for a march.”
What resulted from his efforts is the documentary I Am Greg Hill, which examines the case from the 911 call up to today. The film has recently been picked up by Amazon Prime for its “All Voices Film Festival,” which runs through June 23. “As a filmmaker, this is a blessing,” Jackson said. “You submit for classic festivals in your home city and abroad, but this opportunity allows you to reach across the country, and people have the opportunity to watch in the comfort of their home. Free for Prime users and $2 for others, this is an inexpensive way for viewers to discover your work.”
Having shown films as part of several area film festivals, Jackson has his eye set on Miami to make his next regional festival. “This story doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to Greg’s family,” he said. “I made them producers on the film and plan to turn it over to them. These efforts are more for that man’s story then anything for me.”