Behind The Burning Vines

From director Will Twomey, and cinematographer Chris Kam, Behind The Burning Vines shares the untold stories from the heroes of California's wildfires. For Northern California residents like themselves, wildfires are a familiar sight—started by a downed power line, or cigarette tossed by a careless driver. Inspired by the selfless actions of their community members during these fires, Chris and Will set out to document their stories. The Glass Fire, was their unfortunate opportunity. Follow along as they embed with firefighters, animal evacuators, and business owners in most destructive fire season in California history.

  • Will Twomey
    Director
    Thinning Blue, After The Dust Has Settled
  • Chris Kam
    Director of Photoghraphy
    Thinning Blue, The Other Half, Butterflies, The Divide
  • Charles Musser
    Executive Producer
    Errol Morris: A Lightning Sketch, Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter
  • Chris Kam
    Producer
    Thinning Blue, The Other Half, Butterflies, The Divide
  • Will Twomey
    Producer
    Thinning Blue, After The Dust Has Settled
  • Shelina Moreda
    Creative Consultants
  • Danny Drohan
    Creative Consultants
  • Mark Tukman
    Key Cast
  • Kiyo Tukman
    Key Cast
  • Battalion Chief Chad Costa
    Key Cast
  • Lieutenant Tim Lyons
    Key Cast
  • Danny Drohan
    Key Cast
  • Kellie Anderson
    Key Cast
  • Clay Zusman
    Key Cast
  • Dave Cardwell
    Key Cast
  • Casey Goltermann
    Key Cast
  • Tony August
    Key Cast
  • Shelina Moreda
    Key Cast
  • Colin MacPhail
    Key Cast
  • Brandon Chaney
    Key Cast
  • Captain Mike Laughlin
    Key Cast
  • Rusty Ehrler
    Key Cast
  • Seth Gatten
    Key Cast
  • Scott Hall
    Key Cast
  • Inventive Films
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Captain Mike Laughlin
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Lieutenant Tim Lyons
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Preston Smallwood
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Quincy Higuera
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Tyler Bellach
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Matt Salvo
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Todd Bishop
    Additional Footage Courtesy Of
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Tragedy, Disaster
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 26, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Yale University
  • Private Screening Event
    Petaluma, CA
    United States
    June 26, 2021
Director Biography - Will Twomey

Will Twomey grew up on a small horse ranch in Petaluma, California surrounded by rolling hills, close-knit neighbors, and ever present wildfires. He has frequently collaborated with cinematographer Chris Kam to capture both fictitious and real-life stories—always searching for unique perspectives on topics like WWII, police brutality, and most recently, the 2020 California fire season. Will has spent time with both the Village Roadshow Entertainment Group and Happy Madison Productions. He is currently a senior at Yale University.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In the early morning hours of September 27th, 2020, I woke up to a phone full of missed calls and texts telling me about a rapidly growing fire in Northern California’s Napa Valley, about an hour from my house. I quickly got dressed, started an F-250 pickup, grabbed my old friend and cinematographer Chris Kam, and headed towards the destruction. We were on a mission to capture some of the often overlooked heroes of California’s wildfires—individuals who might get a brief cameo on the local news, but are seldom fully asked about their experiences, struggles, or concerns. Over the next couple days, we followed every lead we could and were truly blown away by the unbelievable acts of selflessness that arose from one of our community’s darkest moments. Behind the Burning Vines shares those stories.