"DIE FREE" Fireflight Lyric Film

A little word about THIS FILM:

There once was a 90 degree, hot summer night filled with chiggers and mosquitos while a gang of miscreants traipsed through the backwoods of Southwestern Missouri in search of the perfect location. A place where fireworks and smoke bombs at 4AM wouldn't upset the neighbors. We found that place, unloaded gear, setup and realized our generator wouldn't start. Not to be dismayed, our meddling crew tore down, loaded gear, and relocated our shoot to a place at the edge of the woods beside a nearby God-send lean-to with a power connection.

The set was simple. A night scene with blue and purple trees looming in the background. Our characters? An overly engrossed girl, a bad TV, a good TV, and a white-faced man in a suit and bowtie who desperately tries to distract her from the negative.

A huge shout out to Josiah Wolfard, an up-and-coming actor from the SWMO region with state titles to back up his talent. He brought the character of White-Face (our lame attempt of naming him) to life in exactly the manner I originally conceived. His talents for juggling lead to an unfortunate injury, a second degree burn on his hand while juggling smoke grenades...at night...with a mask...and lights shining in his face. His idea lead to some of the coolest individual shots we've ever captured. 


The first sign of a problem. We thought while rolling that it was jus part of his character. Turns out, in the fog of smoke he couldn't see and the grenade landed top down in his palm. That is smoke from under his suit coat. 

Holding his hand out, Josiah let us know at this point he had burned his hand. Not to be outdone by something as trivial as a second degree burn, he insisted we keep rolling. We loved this shot, but felt it might convey a wrong message for his character. So we saved it for this blog!

The shot that made the final cut. It was actually right after he lowered his hand and the wind changed directions.  Josiah totally owned this moment and let nothing stop him. His dedication to the character is unrivaled. Perhaps too much though. 

As the night continued we pressed on, determined this would be our greatest lyric film to date. Bekah Williams (who you might recognize from the first film we did for Fireflight) was a trooper. We shot straight through the night without stopping. From 7PM until 4:30AM. We had one night to get it and get it perfect. When looking for the perfect, non-diva attitude, I knew Bekah was my choice for the girl. Who knows? Maybe this will be a trilogy?

If shooting 9.5 hours through the night wasn't bad enough, I made her comeback to a second location and shone a projector in her face for another 2 hours. It was important for the message behind the film for her to be engrossed in the flashing message of the "bad TV." So I thought this would work best if projected on her face and eyes. Turns out the projection on her eyes we couldn't make happen, but the final film didn't suffer. 

In closing, this was a fantastic shoot, an extremely fun edit, and ultimately one of our favorite films to date. Mission accomplished I'd say. All thanks to an amazing crew, some talented and dedicated actors, and an extremely understanding wife at home with my son.






Director: Joel Burris

DP: Joel Burris

Camera A: Joel Burris

Camera B: Nate Perkins

Grip: Asher Perkins

Editor: Joel Burris