Brian is a film student at Drexel University who grew up in Roslyn and graduated from Abington Senior High in 2013. He has always wanted to be a fire fighter, but got an opportunity to be the next best thing, a fire photographer.
I got into film development thanks to my cousin, Chip Murphy, who graduated from Drexel a few years before I was accepted. He was into post-production and had a friends from Abington who were in the fire department. Growing up, I had always wanted to be a firefighter. There was just something about it that drew me to the field. With school and my work in the film industry, I had never gotten a chance to join Roslyn’s Fire Company. It wasn’t until June of 2013 when I looked out my window and saw a huge header of black smoke in the sky that I was able to combine documentary filmmaking with the fire service.
After covering a rather large inferno on Fairview Avenue, near the Willow Grove Park Mall, Dale Jonas, chief of Roslyn Fire Company, and Brian got connected. Dale invited Brian out on calls with the company, and soon he was exposed to many incidents all over Eastern Montgomery County. He got to meet volunteers from other local companies and created mini-documentaries for J.D. Brooke of PhillyFireNews.com, where his work got traction in both Montgomery and Bucks Counties.
Through filming for the short documentary, I met a lot of interesting people. Some of my best friends back home are from the fire departments in Springfield, Upper Moreland, Horsham, and the municipalities surrounding Abington. It really is a brotherhood: The camaraderie is probably the most interesting thing I’ve noticed throughout my time documenting the fire service.
Now Brian is working on a feature-length film on the brotherhood of firefighting that he will be directing, slated for release in Fall 2017. The short film was a piece to judge public interest for the feature film. Brian will be starting an Indiegogo campaign to provide funding for the film, so stay tuned for more information!
A big thanks goes out to George Wilmot of Flourtown Fire Company for putting us in touch with Brian and his excellent work.