We wanted to talk about Fire Chasers. This was a captivating documentary that showcased the fury of the devastating California wildfire in 2016. How does feel looking back on that journey?
Having over a year to look back at it now I think that it was a learning experience. Technically we tried a lot of new equipment and brought a lot of innovative new gear out there that I haven’t really tested in that environment before. Definitely put some film making gear on my chest in the sense of trying to shoot a documentary like this in such a dynamic environment.
On a personal level, it was a life changing experience. I grew up in California in San Diego and I’d seen some of the big fires down there from a distance which stopped us from going to school for a week from ash and what not. People lost their homes, but I never seen it up close up like this. To see not only the ferocity of the fire and how quickly it moved and how big it is and how loud it is, that was terrifying and at the same time really captivating. It’s a moving, breathing force when it’s moving through the landscape and I haven’t visualized fire in that way.
The second part is really the human element and what it does to peoples’ lives. We saw pure tragedy, which really was really put into perspective being a Southern California person. It also taught me a lot about filming with multiple cameras and fast changing dynamic environments. I definitely carry it with me wherever I go especially on future projects. I just did another documentary following 3 chefs through France and ironically I used some of the things I learned on Fire Chasers. I’m grateful for my time out there and also very wary of these environmental disasters due to climate change.