FIRESTORM – The First 12 Hours, is a documentary film that puts a lens to the decisions and the decision-makers tasked with laying siege to the most devastating wildland fires in Northern California’s history; fires that quickly consumed acres of wild lands and entire communities.
TO HELP FUND THIS FILM
FIRESTORM - The First 12 Hours, takes a careful look at response to the October 2017 Northern California wildfires from the perspective of lessons learned. The film's producers are local talent with backgrounds in fire and emergency services, who bring an informed understanding to the decision-making process during the early hours of response activities. This eye-opening documentary provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand how the fires were managed as well as a platform for future preparedness.
FIRESTORM - The First 12 Hours enjoys the support of agencies and individuals directly involved in and affected by the wildfires. Your support is needed to cover the costs of acquiring archival footage, transcription services, scoring and editing, and the successful marketing of the film.
HELP US WITH YOUR TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION BY CLICKING HERE
History tells us that Sonoma County's Hanley Fire of 1964 was devastating. Many people, including fire officials, thought it impossible that a fire of that magnitude would ever sweep through Sonoma County again. But, it happened. In October of 2017, history repeated itself as fires raged through northern Santa Rosa in a footprint eerily similar to that of the Hanley Fire.
But unlike the Hanley Fire, which took four days to reach Santa Rosa, the Tubbs Fire covered that same distance in a surreal four hours, consuming land and taking lives in the middle of the night. During that time, and in the days that followed, Sonoma County residents experienced the frightful power and unpredictability of the natural world. It's a world that increasingly exists in direct opposition to human development.
This documentary will reach out to residents whose lives were dramatically and forever altered by events that unfolded during the first twelve hours of these devastating fires. Additionally, we will interview first responders and public officials to develop an understanding of and appreciation for their decision-making strategies during the fire's critical, early stages. In producing this film, we break down what happened in those first hours, identifying those areas where different response decisions might have been made.
In producing this film, we hope to both help our own community heal and to help communities everywhere better prepare for the next firestorm.
STYLE APPROACH AND AESTHETICS
FIRESTORM - The First 12 Hours will give viewers access to a time and place rarely experienced by those outside the intimate circle of emergency decision-making. Consequently, this documentary will consist of interviews with agency personnel and elected officials, harrowing tales of first responders, and heartbreaking stories of people who lost their homes and loved ones. The film will contain raw footage and stills from the fires, as well as audio transcripts of 911 calls.
The film will be exhibited in widescreen, high definition. Aesthetic influences for the documentary include similar films produced by PBS Frontline, the 2013 documentary Directed by Anthony Wonke - Fire In The Night and the 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke, directed by Spike Lee.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
FIRESTORM -The First 12 Hours is an ambitious documentary that covers an event involving thousands of people and hundreds of stories. The film's success hinges on our ability to conduct extensive background research; to call for, collect and review raw footage; to procure documents and files through the Freedom of Information Act; to coordinate dozens of interviews; and to cover standard documentary production costs. All of this requires a significant investment of time and funds.
We estimate a need for $80,000.00 to cover production costs.
The funds we raise will specifically be used for the following:
Acquisition of high quality archival photographs and video
Travel and lodging as needed to conduct subject-matter expert interviews
Creation of a film score
Distribution and publicity
Community outreach to bring the film to festivals nationwide
Your support makes this goal attainable!
FILM COMPLETION TIMELINE
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the film will not be completed in the time frame we originally had planned. However, it is still in post-production and will be finished at some point.
In the meantime, we have completed a 15 min short that is being shown in the Sonoma County Historical Museum on January 6. Click here for more.
DOCUMENTARY CREW - BIOS