The primary goal of this paper is to walk the reader through Arizona State University student Alicia Gonzales’ documentary-making process from the early beginnings of her Barrett, the Honors College at ASU creative thesis project all the way through her distribution strategies. The documentary, Fire Strong, was made to inform viewers about the wear and tear of the firefighter career — emotionally, mentally and physically — on the individual and on his or her family. The documentary was made to help raise awareness about the duty these individuals have committed to their city, and what they must deal with after the multitude of incidents they respond to every 24-hour shift. Gonzales provides several sources to help describe the mental, physical and emotional trials that both Phoenix Fire Department members and their families endure. While some sources take the form of a traditional document, others come from a firefighter or family member directly. The pre-production, production and post-production processes are explored in depth. The hurdles Gonzales faced throughout the last year are explained and eventually her solves are revealed at the end of the paper. Additionally, the reader will gain more insight as to what a documentary is and what the overarching purpose of making documentaries is by comparing the works of Bernard (2011) and Hewitt and Vazquez (2014). Gonzales uses Bernard (2011) and Hewitt and Vazquez (2014) to demonstrate her argument that almost every documentarian is usually trying to either inform or entertain the viewers. Quite often, it seems that the he or she aims to do both.
Find the documentary here: https://youtu.be/jSJjdrnfee8