The filmmakers struggled to find a kidnapper to film after the bribes to get into the prison where their preferred interviewee was staying proved too steep. The driver of a cab they used one day delivered "packages" on the side for a kidnapper, and introduced them to the masked man interviewed extensively in the film. Director Jason Kohn also was at the kidnapper's home when police stopped by and walked around the outside, the one moment of filming he said he feared for his life.
The kidnapper interviewed in the movie died in late 2006. The filmmakers said he was shot twice - in the shoulder and gut - in a shootout with police in which he killed two cops, was taken to the hospital and came out of the ambulance with a new bullet hole in his head.
The idea of using translators and picturing them on screen was borrowed from a presentation documentary director Errol Morris (director Jason Kohn's mentor) made for the Academy Awards, in which Mikhail Gorbachev discussed his favorite films, with a translator in the background of the shot converting the former USSR leader's Russian into English.