Concordia students James Headrick, David Reece and Ross Owens have been working diligently on a documentary of the horrendous fires that destroyed much of Bastrop County, Texas that happened last September. They will premiere the documentary in Bastrop at the Bastrop Opera House on September 3, which is approximately the one year anniversary of the fires. The documentary will then be released online September 5.
The screening will be open to the public and the doors will open at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by the Bastrop Film Commission. The screening will begin at 6 p.m. and admission is free for families who were affected by the fires. General admission will be $5.00 and all proceeds will go directly to All About Families, a non-profit in Bastrop that supports fire victims.
Last year, the fires took 1,800 homes, 34,000 acres and two lives in Bastrop County.
“The original plan was to film for only one day, but one day turned into two, then two days turned into three,” Headrick said.
The footage of the film continued to grow as the men uncovered stories about the rebuilding of the town and the stories that were buried under the ash.
“We want [to tell] the untold stories, the ones media didn’t share,” Headrick said. “The emotions we felt during the filming were hard to describe.”
Upon arriving in Bastrop for the first day of filming, both men were awed by devastation. They saw many homes destroyed and the landscape of trees and forest was covered in ashes. During the shoot, they walked through the remains of what used to be a small neighborhood.
“There was not a single living thing in sight,” Owens said, “These people have nothing.”
They wanted to share the stories not only of survival, but of recovery and restoration as well.
“The documentary will be kind of all over the place,” Headrick said. “The plan is to include the history of the town, what happened the day of the fire and then the aftermath of the disaster.”
The filmmakers will portray the story of Bastrop not only from their lenses, but from the lenses of those families who captured footage as well.
“Efforts are still being made to help families who were impacted by the fires, but aid is slowing going away” Headrick said.
For more information on the documentary, and to find ways that you can help families in Bastrop, please visit www.bastrop-documentary.com